Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:35 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 10:46 am
 


By Matt Snyder

As we continue the ongoing series of Would You Rather Have, we'll tackle a PED-themed version today. As every baseball fan surely knows by now, Ryan Braun failed a drug test and is facing a 50-game suspension for the beginning of the 2012 season, unless his appeal is upheld. Jose Bautista, on the other hand, has never failed an MLB drug test. However, I'd wager a hefty sum that if the Braun news first broke as "an unnamed All-Star slugger has tested positive for a banned substance" that the overwhelming majority of people would have guessed Bautista was the culprit.

In no uncertain terms, I think it's unfair how many people -- and it's not just fans, some media members are in on the witch hunt -- seem to believe that Bautista could not possibly get better at age 29 without having cheated. I've written about it multiple times (like here) but it drives me crazy. His body type hasn't changed one bit. Then again, neither has Braun's.

Whatever the case may be, that's why I connected these two superstar corner outfielders. Fair or not, one of these players has failed a drug test and the other has the suspicions of the majority of baseball fans. Since they are both big-time power hitters and play a corner outfield position, the debate works. Let's dive in.

The case for Bautista

Last year at this time many people believed the slugger's breakout campaign in 2010 was a fluke, but then Bautista went out and had an even better all-around season. He was once again punished for not playing on a team in contention in the MVP voting, finishing third. This time around it was much more egregious, considering the batting average and on-base percentage gains made. Bautista led the AL in home runs, walks, slugging percentage, OPS and Wins Above Replacement, Baseball-Reference.com version (he actually tied Justin Verlander there with 8.5).  Bautista's 181 OPS-plus led the majors and is insane (if you aren't familiar with the stat, it's ballpark adjusted and means Bautista's OBP plus slugging percentage was 81 percent better than the league average).

Would You Rather Have
Also impressive, Bautista walked more times than he struck out, an amazing feat for a slugger of his caliber. Albert Pujols regularly does it, but not many other power hitters ever do.

While neither outfielder here is going to approach a Fielding Bible Award any time soon -- both rate out poorly in advanced defensive metrics -- Bautista has a nice arm in right field, racking up 13 outfield assists in 116 games last season (he played 25 games at third). Using the eye test, too, I'd much rather have Bautista in the outfield than Braun.

Oh, and Bautista isn't facing a 50-game suspension.

The case for Braun

The 2011 NL MVP, Braun had a spectacular season with 33 homers, 111 RBI, 109 runs, 33 stolen bases and led the NL in slugging percentage and OPS. His OPS-plus was 166 and WAR was 7.7, for comparison's sake. Since winning the NL Rookie of the Year (after playing just 113 games) in 2007, Braun has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball.

Again, neither is a very good defender in terms of range or saving runs for his pitching staff, but one thing Braun does very well is not commit errors. He's only made six errors in the past four seasons combined. So while he won't get to as many balls as, say, Brett Gardner, Braun is sure-handed when he does.

If you wanna use age, Braun isn't that much younger than Bautista. He does have a three-year lead, as he turned 28 in November while Bautista turned 31 in October.

Our call

You can call me petty, but I'm going with Bautista until -- if ever -- he fails a drug test of his own. I'm pretty sure I would have leaned that way in October, but it would have been incredibly tough. That's irrelevant now, though, because Braun's name is tainted, even if temporarily, while Bautista's is not.

Vote away, and I have to say, I'm very interested to see how this one goes down. Lots of different issues in play, so let's hear those opinions. Please do keep in mind this is moving forward. Even if Braun misses 50 games this year, he's signed with the Brewers into his late 30s.

Fan Vote:



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Comments

Since: Dec 8, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:45 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

 I repeat, HE WILL NOT WIN THIS APPEAL. 


hmm, I guess you were W-r-o-n-g!



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:12 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

No, mentioned that I live in Milwaukee because I know people who know him, and I know the circumstances surrounding this case, and on what grounds he's appealing the decision.  It doesn't matter what I write on this forum, I'm just saying that a lot of people are going to have egg on their face after he wins his appeal


Unless their is a 2nd sample that was tested that comes back clean he will not win his appeal. It doesn't even matter whether he knew what was in his body. All that matters is he tested positive. I don't care if he was taking synthetic testosterone to cure cancer. The fact it was in his system during a test and while he was playing means he was violating the rules. I repeat, HE WILL NOT WIN THIS APPEAL. 



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:16 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

So somehow you have information that the rest of the free world doesn't?  Sheeeeeesh.



Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:38 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

No, mentioned that I live in Milwaukee because I know people who know him, and I know the circumstances surrounding this case, and on what grounds he's appealing the decision.  It doesn't matter what I write on this forum, I'm just saying that a lot of people are going to have egg on their face after he wins his appeal 



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:11 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

It's easy to hit a 98 mph fastball when you know a change-up or slider isn't coming. I think some people forgot about that lil issue up in Toronto.



Hahahaha, people actually believed that crap? I thought it was hilarious and I guess so did most of Toronto. Maybe the rest of the world was not in on the joke. Did you read the story? What they were talking about was actually impossible to do. It's was so comically written that the two writers were just torched and shamed. Pretty funny you would even bring it up.   



Since: Jan 8, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:10 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

i meant to say it's not your team affected by this.



Since: Jan 8, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:09 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

Like I said, hateful. Wow. I think based on your own words I'd say wait until his appeal is over. Yes, i am nieve. I think this steroid stuff is a big hypocritical witch hunt. And what's it to you anyway. It's your team affected by this.



Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:06 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

bautista without question, his career was a bit ruff and unproductive to start but he has really been one of the most dominant hitters over the past two seasons, braun has been a damn good player his entire career but the way bautista has been producing you have to be a fool to go against him



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:05 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

Ryan Braun, they havent found the PEDS bautista is using, he came out of nowhere two years ago and is now one of the best power hitters in baseball after what 7 years of suck? Im not buying it...


Ignorance is bliss they say. So you take the guy that HAS ACTUALLY tested positive over the guy you just think did. That's some spiffy logic right there.


If you cared to do the research this type of turn around in power has happened many times before. If you cared to do some research there is an actual correllation between Bautista's power surge and an in depth explanation for it. If you cared to do some research you have seen this power surge came at the end of 2009. If you cared to do any research you would realize it's highly unlikely steroids turn a guy in to a power hitter overnight..... But yeah, keep believeing Bautista is just as dirty as a guy that has tested positive.      



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:57 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Bautista or Braun?

 What do any of you really know about Ryan Braun and this case?


He failed a test for a banned substance. It appears he had more than twice the amount of SYNTHETIC testosterone than anyone ever tested.

 He's played like this his entire career,


That's more of a case to taint his entire career rather than the point I believe you intended it to be.

 I have to believe he's innocent.


Then you appear to be a little naive. It's ok.


    Even if his suspension is upheld he will still be my favorite player on my favorite team.
      
;
     

No one is telling you can't do that. Just remember though he's the biggest cheat in the game currently playing that we can prove is a proven cheat. Even the guys of the "Steroid Era" are not as big of cheats as he is as there is written rules and testing within the CBA for this. But if you can be ok with that and still have him be your favourite player that's up to you.

 Plus, I haven't seen anyone realy go on the record about this yet. Other than the leak and an all this web noise, there is not any new information available.


No one in their right mind would go on record yet. He has to have his case heard. But, have you hear Braun say he DIDN'T test positive for something? Nope, just that he has an explanation for it. I'd love to hear what it is.....because there really is no excuse. I don't really care what it is.
     


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com