GTWMA and others have distinguished Atkins. And the only thing wrong with Ryan Howard is that he got injured. You should evaluate decisions not results. Nobody can predict injuries (unless we're talking Prior/Harden). Even so, Howard looks just fine as a 2007 pick.
The point is, Braun's BAPIP will go down from .380 and he'll most certainly regress. But that doesn't change the fact that he has a lot of power and speed and has the skill set to hit .300. It's easy to get caught up in the next big thing and ignore objective reasoning. Us here at the cafe generally take advantage of that and trade a guy like Chad Gaudin for J. Vazquez. But this thread has revealed a less common inefficiency that can be exploited. It appears some experienced owners are failing to consider the fact that some of these young hitters are for real. I stated earlier that I'm waiting to see how his right-handed pitcher splits turn out, but if the stats support the results, there's no reason to pass on Braun in the second or third. And as GTWMA stated, the chance of a younger player exceeding projections is higher than the chance of a 33 year old exceeding expectations. When I saw this thread, I expected some sensationalism and thought folks would be projecting Braun as a top 5 pick. Now, if things go right, it appears Braun could be quite the value pick in the 3rd -5th round.
And that's probably right where he should be based on an overall look at his performance in college, minors, and majors, so far. I agree with you on all these points, both the likely regression and the overall value.
Still lots of baseball and an off-season before thinking about drafting Braun, but I think there's little doubt that he has the track record to put up numbers similar to Wright, Cabrera, and ARam. Both he and Upton ought to be in the conversation next spring on who to pick at 3B after ARod. On a seasonal average basis right now, fwiw, Braun is the second highest ranked 3B and ranked 4th overall.
"I don't want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to chase it."