By Jason Shetler
In the 2009 MLB Draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Keon Broxton with their third round choice. The 25-year-old outfielder was acquired by the Pirates towards the end of Spring Training in 2014. What seemed like a very minor trade at the time has resulted in the Pirates adding another talent to their already deep outfield depth in the system. Here are Broxton’s minor league numbers since joining the organization.
2014 (Altoona): .275 avg, .853 OPS, 25 stolen bases in 127 games
2015 (Altoona/Indianapolis): .273 avg, .795 OPS, 39 stolen bases in 133 games
Broxton has displayed a nice combination of power and speed over the past two seasons. The latter part of his game was really at the forefront in 2015, as his 39 steals were the second most among Pirates minor leaguers. Only Tito Polo had more with 46.
Following the gruesome leg injury to Jung-Ho Kang in September, the Pirates decided to call up Broxton. The decision to have him join the big league roster now gives him club control with the Bucs. Had Broxton not been called up, he would have been eligible for minor league free agency. As expected, Broxton was used mainly in pinch-running situations. He recorded his first Major League stolen base against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. For a long time now, the Pirates have been lacking that legitimate speed threat off the bench over the course of a season. With the non-tender of Jaff Decker this offseason, Broxton will arguably be the most intriguing player to watch for the Pirates in Spring Training, as he’ll try to win a spot as a reserve outfielder. It’s no secret that the Pirates aren’t a power hitting club, especially now with the subtraction of Pedro Alvarez. The key will be for them to get on base consistently and take the extra base in order to manufacture runs. The Kansas City Royals’ Jarrod Dyson has been a real weapon off their bench with his great speed, and has helped them win games late because of it. Perhaps Broxton could be that player coming off the Pirates bench in 2016.