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Opening Day Countdown: Keon Broxton #60

Sixty days isn't that long to wait for baseball, right? Well, one day is too long, but you know what I mean. To celebrate our proximity to the multiverse's best sport, we're talking a look at OF Keon Broxton, wearer of jersey number sixty.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

David Stearns has been a busy man this offseason. I think perhaps his most interesting trade so far has been the Jason Rogers trade. It's the one move he's made that completely took me by surprise. I never thought Jason Rogers would have any trade value given his age and limited experience at the major league level. I don't mind being wrong when it means the Brewers add a couple of interesting players. Trey Supak could very well be the jewel of this trade, but Keon Broxton is not without intrigue.

Broxton was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in the third round of the 2009 draft. He spent 5 years in their minor league system without much fan fare. Periodically he's show glimpses of the tools that made him a third rounder--33 SB in 2011, 19 HR & 21 SB in 2012. But he could never put it all together at once and in the same season. That is until the Pirates acquired him.

He had something of a breakout in 2014 hitting 275/369/484 with 15 HR and 25 SB in 471 PA while repeating AA. Then in 2015 started back at AA again, hitting 302/365/464 in 204 PA before a mid-season promotion to AAA. There he hit 256/352/423 in 367 PA. Combined he hit 10 home runs and stole 39 bases. That's pretty good production to go along with his reportedly solid defense in center field. But there are still concerns.

Every report I've read on him notes his raw tools. He's got a good mix of power and speed to go along with defense that will allow him to stick in center field. Unfortunately those reports also mention his inability to identify and make contact with offspeed pitches. You can get away with that in the minors to an extent. You cannot get away with that at the major league level. And his already high strikeout rate--over 25% for his entire career, sometimes much higher--will only be exacerbated at baseball's highest level.

His minor league numbers from the last two years look great. That's undeniable. But it's very likely he can't come anywhere close to reaching that level at the majors. However that doesn't mean he isn't an MLB caliber player. He's just likely not a starting caliber player. His power/speed/defense combination makes him an excellent 4th OF candidate. He'll still have to cut down on that K% though.

He's a good depth player to have. With minor league options remaining and having only spent half a season at AAA it seems clear that's where he'll start the 2016 season. I'm interested to see how he fares. But instead of focusing on his counting stats (HR, SB) and triple slash line, I'll be looking for improvement from his K%. Regardless of that, I bet we'll see him in Milwaukee at some point as an injury replacement. Unless Michael Reed forces his way onto the roster that is.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs