Outlook for Ryan Braun, Brewers bats 

June, 3, 2013

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is having another fine season, hitting better than .300 and on roughly a 30-homer, 100-RBI pace, but there’s been one statistic notably missing and it’s why he hasn’t been one of the very best fantasy options so far: Where exactly are the stolen bases? Fantasy owners want to know, and so do I, so in the Citizens Bank Park clubhouse after Saturday’s 4-3 Brewers win over the Philadelphia Phillies I asked the player chosen in the top three of virtually all of ESPN’s live drafts what the deal with the steals is.

“I think it’s a combination of things,” said Braun, who enters Monday with three stolen bases in eight attempts, after stealing 30 of 37 in 2012 and 33 of 39 the year prior. “First and foremost a lot of stolen bases is about luck. I betcha I’ve had 8 to 10 bases stolen when guys have either fouled the ball off or put it in play. That’s something you can’t control as a base runner. I’ve never tried to force stolen bases. I try to pick and choose my spots, pitchers that are slower to the plate or situations where we think they’re throwing an off-speed pitch. It’s been a weird year base running-wise. Hopefully over the course of the rest of the season I’m able to pick up the pace a little bit, for fantasy owners.”

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Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Ryan Braun has positive contributions in all five hitting categories, according to the Player Rater, but he could be considered a mild disappointment.