Braun quickly dismissed any idea that he’ll chase pitches out of the strike zone, however.
“Every year, my plate discipline has been a priority,” he said. “I recognize that if my plate discipline gets better, I get better as a player. Every year, I’ve taken tremendous pride in it, and I think I’ve gotten a little bit better at it every year.
“The goal is always to swing at strikes. If I don’t get strikes, I’m hoping I have the discipline not to swing at those pitches. I truly believe that our lineup is deep enough and good enough that I wouldn’t pitch around me. Our Nos. 4 and 5 hitters (Ramirez and Corey Hart) are both proven, consistently productive major-league hitters. If it is any different, I have confidence with the rest of our lineup that we’ll find ways to score runs.”
...“Plate discipline for me wasn’t something that was inherent,” he said. “It was something that was learned and I’ve had to work hard on. I don’t think I had even heard about strikeout-to-walk ratio until at least college, maybe the minor leagues.
“The goal is not walking more or striking out less. The goal is to swing at strikes. If I do that, success is inevitable. The goal is to swing at pitches I want to swing at, not the pitches they want me to swing at.
“It’s a constant battle; it’s something I’m always working on. But I do feel like I’ve gotten better at that over time. If you don’t prove that you’ll swing at strikes only, what motivation do they have to throw you strikes?”