Braun Healthy, Ready

After an injury played 2004 season, junior Ryan Braun is ready to begin a healthy 2005. The season begins February, 1 versus Florida International University at Mark Light Stadium at 7:00 PM.

After batting .335 during his sophomore season and leading the Hurricanes in six offensive categories during his freshman season on way to the National Freshman of the Year award, what does Ryan Braun do to get better?

"I feel like I have improved most on my defense and my running," Braun said. "In the fall, we work out real hard, we work out at 5:30 in the morning four days a week. We run and condition and do all our individual work in the afternoon. It is basically a lot of practice, running hard, and weight training."

The off-season work looked like it definitely had an affect on Braun. He looks bigger and stronger than his listed height and weight of 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. Braun also feels a lot healthier than in years past.

After missing 18 games last season because of a strained rib cage, Braun is healthy and ready to go.

"I am healthy, which is a change from last year. I am looking forward to coming out and having a big year and helping my team win."

Braun, who has played shortstop his first two seasons at UM will make the switch to third base.

"Most likely I will be at third, Roger Tomas at shortstop, Paco at second, and Danny Valencia at first."

So far, Braun is pleased by what he sees in these early season practices.

"It is going well, I thought we have had some really productive practices, and everyone is starting to get a little antsy. Everyone is getting excited about the challenge and getting started."

Braun, a junior out of Granada Hills, California, sees a lot of young players that can contribute to the team this season.

"We have a lot of good young pitchers. Alex Garabedian, is going to be a real good player as a catcher and designated hitter. Danny Valencia, a transfer, is looking like he will start at first base for us this year."

After putting the time in the off-season, Braun is ready to see the results on the field and impress the major league scouts. Teammate Andrew Lane says he can already see how good Braun will be this season, saying "Braun was having a great fall. He looks amazing out there."

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