Keon Broxton: Seattle Mariners Center Fielder?
Late last night, our good friends over at Reviewing The Brew posted an article. Inside the article were the details of a trade between the Milwaukee Brewers and your Seattle Mariners. The prize for the Mariners? Outfielder Keon Broxton.
Before we begin, I recommend you guys read the original article by clicking here. So who is Keon Broxton? The 27-year-old center fielder of the Brewers is still a bit of a mystery. In his first sustained stint in the big leagues during the 2016 season, Broxton slashed an impressive .242/.354/.430 with 9 homers and 23 stolen bases in just 75 games played.
Unfortunately, he crashed back down to earth in 2017. In his first full season, Broxton slashed just .220/.299/.420 with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. The defense also went from elite in center field in 2016 to average in 2017. But the power/speed combo appears legitimate.
The biggest Achilles Heel for Broxton is his truly horrid strike out numbers. His career 37.8 K% was the worst ratio in all of baseball in 2017. This is a truly unsustainable number, and might ultimately deter Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto from even sniffing at the idea of Broxton.
However; the Brewers do have a massive log jam in their outfield, and the Mariners need a center fielder, so perhaps there is common ground on a deal. Dipoto has shown that he is willing to sacrifice offense output from center for borderline elite defensive skills.
Perhaps working with hitting coach Edgar Martinez can turn Broxton’s career around. Or maybe, like Mike Zunino, strike outs will always be a part of Broxton’s game. Zunino uses his great defense and elite power to maintain his value, despite the ridiculous strikeout rate. Broxton combination of power, speed, and defense could do the same for him.
Next: Could the Mariners, Rays Make Another Trade?
Broxton is unlikely to cost the Mariners much, and he has 4 years of club control remaining. If Broxton can reach his ultimate potential, he can be a game changer at the bottom of the Mariners lineup. If he continues to be who he has been, the cost is so low, that it will not hurt the Mariners long-term. This could be a risk worth taking.