Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton has had a positive impact since coming back from Triple-A. One of those positives is the high level of defense he has played. Which only adds to an entire season of great plays from Broxton in center field.
In the game on August 30th against the Cardinals, Keon Broxton robbed a sure home run off the bat of Randall Grichuk. The important part is that this was in the bottom of the ninth with the Brewers up by just one, and with a runner on base. With a lesser defender in center field, the Brewers would have blown that lead.
The interesting aspect about the catch is that nobody was surprised by the fact that Broxton caught it. Everyone was in awe of the fantastic play, but nobody was saying “I can’t believe he did that” after watching the video of the catch.
This is because Broxton has done this before. Whether he’s robbing home runs, making diving catches, or making difficult catches look easy with his speed, Broxton has always been a good defender. While guys like Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips also play solid defense, Keon has been on another level.
When you look at the numbers, Broxton has only seven errors this season with a .968 fielding percentage. When you compare those numbers to Domingo Santana‘s five errors, it may not sound good. However, Santana is nowhere near the type of defender Broxton is. You can live with a couple errors when Broxton makes the amazing run saving plays that he does.
Santana is good enough to be able to put in the outfield, but he certainly is not a difference maker out there. He’ll make the easy plays and nothing more, which is what makes having Keon Broxton just one position over is so huge.
With Broxton’s speed, he can cut off balls in the gap that Santana can’t. If there were two Santana’s in the outfield, it would be extra bases all day for opposing teams. Broxton can run long distances to catch balls in the gap, or shorten doubles into singles and triples into doubles.
Keon Broxton brings a high level of range to the outfield. While the Milwaukee Brewers wouldn’t lose too much if Brinson or Phillips started in center, Broxton is special right now. He may not get the recognition, but he has played near a Gold Glove-level all year. Broxton also kept the Brewers in the NL Central race almost single-handedly on Wednesday afternoon.