Minor Leagues (2005–07)
The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Braun in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2005 major league draft as a third baseman, and he signed for $2.45 million.
Assigned to the Helena Brewers in the Advanced Rookie Pioneer League in 2005, Braun batted .341/.383/.585 in 10 games. He was then promoted to the West Virginia Power in the Class A South Atlantic League, where he hit .355/.396/.645, and was rated the fifth-best prospect in the league. His most memorable moment there was when he hit a walk-off grand slam to lead the Power into the playoffs. Following the 2005 season he was rated by Baseball America as the Brewers' Best Minor League Hitter for Average, the fifth-best prospect in the South Atlantic League, and the third-best prospect in the Brewers organization.
Braun began 2006 playing for the A-Advanced Brevard County Manatees. He earned a spot in the Florida State League All-Star game, and played in the All-Star Futures Game. He was rated the top third base prospect in the FSL, and Baseball America rated him the best batting prospect in the league. On June 21, Braun was promoted to the Class AA Huntsville Stars (Alabama) of the Southern League. In July he was voted the Brewers' Organizational Player of the Month, and at the end of the season he was voted the sixth-best prospect in the Southern League. Collectively between Class A and Class AA, Braun finished with a .289 average, 22 home runs, 77 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases. He received the 2006 Robin Yount Performance Award as the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Year.
Later in 2006, in the Arizona Fall League he hit .326/.396/.641 in 92 at bats for the Scottsdale Scorpions. He led the AFL with 16 extra-base hits, tied for tops with 9 doubles, ranked second in slugging percentage and HR/AB ratio (1/15), tied for second in home runs (6), and tied for third in RBIs (25). He was rated one of the top three prospects in the league, and was voted to the AFL All-Prospects Team.
Baseball America rated Braun the Brewers' # 2 prospect for 2007. He began the year with the Nashville Sounds of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Before being called up to the majors in late May, in 113 at bats he led the PCL with a .726 slugging percentage while batting .354 (6th), with 10 home runs (T-2nd) and a .426 on base percentage (5th).
Read more about this topic: Ryan Braun
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