Milwaukee Brewers 26-year old center fielder Keon Broxton believes that the way he played at that end of the 2016 regular season will be how he begins the 2017 season.
Broxton hopes to build off what he says might not have been a breakout year, but was something more than a regular season.
Broxton has what many consider a rare talent combination – power and speed – in is 6-foot-3, 200-pound body.
In the 75 games he played a season ago, Broxton had 9 homes runs and 23 stolen bases. Thus far in 15 spring training games, Broxton has hit for a .366 average with 3 homers.
Broxton last season was on Milwaukee’s opening day roster but on April 16 was optioned to Nashville the Brewers Triple-A affiliate.
He was hitless in his first 24 at bats in the big leagues before a bunt single on May 25. On July 3, he was demoted again after batting .125 during a short stretch with the Brewers.
However, when he was recalled again on July 25 he started a long stretch of success. He batted .294 with 8 homers over 49 games, prior to his season ending September 16 with a broken wrist after he ran into the wall at Wrigley Field.
For the entire season, Broxton batted .242 with an on-base percentage of .354 and a slugging percentage of .430. While his walk percentage was 14.7 to plate appearances, he struck out an alarming 36% of the time.
Broxton said that cutting down his frequency of strikeouts and attempting to put more balls into play were the two biggest things he is attempting to do to begin the season.
Craig Counsell the Milwaukee manager is contemplating beginning the season with two speedsters Jonathan Villar, who was the leader in stolen bases last season in the majors at 62, and Broxton leading off the batting order.
Broxton said that if he is able to put the ball into play 50 times more out of the 100 strikeouts he had last season, at least 20 or 30 will be hits, which he said will help the team.
The season begins in less than two weeks and Broxton hopes that a full season with the Brewers will be as successful as his final 49 games last year prior to breaking his wrist.