Keon Darell Broxton
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195 lb.
- School Santa Fe Community College
- High School Lakeland Senior High School
- Debut September 21, 2015
Outfielder Keon Broxton began his professional career in 2009.
He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 29th round of the 2008 amateur draft out of high school, but he opted not to sign. He hit .340 with 10 homers in 48 games at Santa Fe Community College the next year, then did sign after being taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 3rd round of the 2009 amateur draft (the 95th overall pick, right before Brett Wallach). The signing scout was Luke Wrenn.
The fleet-footed Broxton hit 9 triples for the Missoula Osprey in just 72 games his first year, adding 11 home runs to his stat sheet as well for the short-season club; he produced at a .246/.302/.474 clip. One negative was 93 whiffs in 272 AB; another was the OBP. He led the Pioneer League in triples by 3 and tied Jared Clark for 7th in home runs but was also third in whiffs. Among Diamondbacks farmhands, he tied Cole Gillespie and Chris Rahl for third in three-baggers despite his late start to the season.
He has 21 swipes and 19 triples for the Missoula in 2010, but hit only .228/.316/.360, struck out 172 times and was caught stealing 13 times. He easily led the Midwest League in triples (5 over Carlo Testa but also whiffed the most (8 more than #2 D'Vontrey Richardson). Among Arizona minor leaguers, he had 11 more triples than anyone else and led in Ks (11 more than Paul Goldschmidt). In all of minor league baseball, he led in triples (3 more than Francisco Peguero and Brett Lawrie).
Baseball America rated him as the #10 Arizona prospect entering 2011. In 2011, he stole 33 bases in 45 tries, scored 77 runs, drew 69 walks and struck out 172 times between the South Bend Silver Hawks (.231/.294/.282 in 20 G) and Visalia Rawhide (.251/.349/.362 in 110 G). He again led the Arizona farm chain in Ks (10 ahead of Bobby Borchering) while placing third in steals (behind A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton).
He meshed power and speed in 2012, hitting 19 home runs and stealing 21 bases for Visalia; he produced at a .267/.326/.437 clip and scored 84 runs while cutting his strikeouts to 136. He was 6th in the Diamondbacks system in home runs while falling to second in strikeouts. Baseball America tabbed him as the organization's best athlete.
After an off year in 2013 (.231/.296/.359 in 10 G for the Mobile BayBears, only 8 HR and 5 SB), he hit .231/.313/.333 with 11 steals in 12 tries for the Sydney Blue Sox in the 2013-2014 Australian Baseball League. He tied Mike Crouse for fifth in steals. The next spring, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash.
In his first year in the Pirates system, he hit 15 home runs and stole 25 bases for the Altoona Curve with a much better OPS - .275/.369/.484 was his batting line. He led the Eastern League with six intentional walks, tied Gift Ngoepe for second in triples (3 behind Alen Hanson), tied Hanson and Francisco Lindor for 7th in steals, was 6th in slugging (between Brian Burgamy and Willy Garcia), ranked 7th in OPS and even missed the top 10 in strikeouts (122, despite playing a full season). Among Bucco minor leaguers, he tied Hanson for third in steals and was 4th in dingers.
He opened 2015 hot with Altoona (.302/.365/.464, 35 R in 45 G) and reached Triple-A for the first time in 2015 when he was promoted to the Indianapolis Indians; with the Pirates having an outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, it appeared unlikely Broxton would get a regular look at the majors at that point. He hit .256 with 15 doubles, 8 triples and 7 homers for the Indians, giving him a combined batting line of .273/.357/.438 in 133 games, with 86 runs scored, 68 RBI and 39 steals. He was called up when rosters expanded in September with the Pirates involved in a three-team pennant race with the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. He made his debut on September 21st as a pinch-runner in a game against the Colorado Rockies; he ran for Aramis Ramirez in the 9th inning, moved to second on a ground out, then stole third base and scored on a throwing error by Rockies catcher Tom Murphy. His run was not really crucial, as it made the score 9-3 in Pittsburgh's favor. Pitcher Bobby LaFromboise then replaced him in the bottom of the inning. In 7 games, he had only two at-bats, but scored three runs, stole one base and was caught stealing once. On December 17th, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with P Trey Supak in return for 1B Jason Rogers.
With the Brewers in 2016, he was able to get more regular playing time, logging 75 games while playing exclusively center field. He hit .242 with 10 doubles, 9 homers and 19 RBIs, also stealing 23 bases in 27 attempts. His season ended early however, as he crashed into the fence in a game against the Chicago Cubs on September 16th, breaking his wrist. In 2017, he was the regular centerfielder, playing 143 games and hitting .220 with 20 homers and 49 RBIs; he also scored 66 runs and stole 21 bases, showing good speed, but his OBP fell to a dismal .299 from .345 the previous year. It was therefore not surprising that the Brewers looked for another centerfielder after the season, and found one on free agent Lorenzo Cain, who gave them an All-Star season. Keon was relegated to the bench, where he played 51 games and had just 78 at-bats, hitting .179. He also played 82 games in AAA with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and hit .254 with 10 hoemrs and 37 RBIs. The Brewers ended up with the best record in the National League and he went 1 for 2 in the Division Series against the Colorado Rockies. His hit was a home run off Wade Davis in the 9th inning of Game 3 on October 7th after he had come in as a defensive substitute in right field, giving Milwaukee an insurance run in a 6-0 win at Coors Field.
Following the 2018 season, on January 5, 2019, he was traded to the New York Mets in return for Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill and Felix Valerio, the Mets acquiring him as insurance to back up the oft-injured Juan Lagares in centerfield.
Sources include 2015 Pirates Media Guide
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2017)