Hype gets a bad rap or, to put it into a confusing pun, hype is hype-less even for the hyper. That’s not to say hype isn’t understood to a degree. Most notably, Gartner, a technology research company out of Stamford, Conn., figured out what all the hype was about, coining the term “hype cycle.” The “Hype Cycle” explains the over-enthusiasm or “hype” and subsequent disappointment that typically happens with the introduction of new technologies. It’s not too far out on a limb to say, new technologies aren’t the only things hyped. Right now, Ryan Braun is more hyped than any other player going into 2008 drafts. There are 5 steps to the Gartner hype cycle. Let’s crib it and put it towards Ryan Braun, shall we?

1. “Technology Trigger” — Or in this case, Ryan Braun’s emergence as a fantasy stud last year.

2. “Peak of Inflated Expectations” — In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. Or in this case, “Ryan Braun is going 50/50 in 2008 and will begin dating Gisele Bundchen by the All-Star break.” This is the cycle phase we’re currently in.

3. “Trough of Disillusionment”
Ryan Braun will enter the “trough of disillusionment” because he will fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, fantasy baseball players will trade him for Lyle Overbay and a bag of shelled pecans.

4. “Slope of Enlightenment”
— Although fantasy baseball players may write off Ryan Braun, some players continue through the “slope of enlightenment” and understand the benefits and practical application of Ryan Braun. Or in this case, stick Braun at the corner infield spot and sit him against tough righties.

5. “Plateau of Productivity” — Ryan Braun reaches the “plateau of productivity” as his benefits become widely demonstrated and accepted. He learns to take a walk in the second half of ’08 and he’s drafted on average in the fourth round in ’09. He becomes increasingly stable and evolves in his third and fourth years. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether Ryan Braun is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.

All of this is broken down in this lovely chart. (Since I’m sans photoshop and wouldn’t know how to use it even if I had it, Ryan Braun’s arrow was added by a friend of the site, www.saphrym.com.)

Hype Cycle

So you see, Ryan Braun will be broadly applicable one day, but that day is not now. Don’t get caught up in the hype cycle. You’re welcome.

  1. Jay a.k.a. 'Dat' says:


    His second year will be time to REALLY prove himself as a player. He was great last year, but he hasn’t felt the “slump” in his early career just yet.

    Plus, he still makes like a million errors… maybe they should move him to first LOL… but then again, there’s Fielder… oh well.


  2. IowaCubs says:

    Something tells me that you just want to be “that” guy who will have the ability to say “I told you so” later in the season.

    Last year there was a guy at my NL keeper draft like you. He kept telling me that I was stupid for selecting Braun for $4 and Tulo for $21. He then selected Jason Bay for $34.

    Nonetheless, I think you’re mostly right about the hype, but .290/90/35/120/15 is still top 20.

  3. Who We Are says:

    I had Braun last year in two leagues. Last year was a great year to have him, next year will be a good year to have him. This year he’ll be expensive, except for you. At $4, there’s no way you can’t take him.

  4. Pinot says:

    “That diagram didn’t work so well for say Howard, Pujols, Fielder, Hanley, Utley, Reyes etc. Studs are studs and you cannot avoid them just because they are risky.

    Braun is hitting 4th again today so that looks like the most likely spot for him. Right between Fielder and Hart works for me.”

  5. Grey

    Grey says:

    The players you mentioned, where were they drafted in the second season? None went late first round. If they were drafted there, their leaguemates mocked that owner. So, yeah, Braun is chock full of hype and going too early.

  6. brewcrew007 says:

    Nearing halfway point of season and Braun is in top five or top ten for many offensive categories. Hype…Absolutely not!!!!! Not to mention the vast defensive improvement with the move to left-field. Don’t doubt this guy. Phenom in every sense of the word. Watch out NL central, the crew is rolling. Going for 6 straigth & 9 of 10 tomorrow.

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