The Baltimore Orioles have designated outfielder Keon Broxton for assignment.
Back on May 22nd, the Baltimore Orioles sent cash considerations to the New York Mets for outfielder Keon Broxton. The severe struggles of Cedric Mullins left a big void in center field for the Orioles and the move for Broxton was a no-risk, possibility of some reward move. Unfortunately for Broxton, he was unable to make a contribution at the plate, forcing the Orioles to designate him for assignment.
With Broxton gone, the Orioles are left with Stevie Wilkerson and Anthony Santander as the only “center fielders” on the active roster. Both young bats will likely share the load for now since the corresponding roster move was the addition of reliever Branden Kline to the 25-man.
Broxton played in 37 games for the Orioles, slashing a pedestrian 204/.261/.350 with four home runs and nine runs driven in. His 43.8% strikeout rate was an increase from his 41.5% strikeout rate in 34 games with the Mets before coming to Birdland and his wRC+ of 59 left much to be desired.
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We highlighted Broxton’s impressive Statcast numbers yesterday, which featured a high percentage of caught balls in the outfield (well above what the numbers say he should have caught) and elite sprint speed. Despite a fresh start in the American League, Broxton was unable to translate his speed into success on the basepaths and the one play on defense I will remember above the rest (if I remember the Keon Broxton days at all) is his mental lapse against the Red Sox, allowing a runner on first to tag up and reach second on a routine flyball.
Broxton’s departure paves the way for more playing time for Anthony Santander. Santander has been hot recently, hitting .333 with an .885 OPS in the month of July for the Orioles. He is currently riding a three-game hitting streak which has included eight total hits, six runs scored, six runs driven in, and no strikeouts. The hot streak has upped his season slash line to .299/.351/.489.
The 2019 season is about figuring out what the Orioles have and sorting out a long list of fringe players occupying the current 25-man roster and Triple-A Norfolk. Santander is one of those players who is making the most of his opportunity.
As for Broxton, we wish him success in his future endeavors and hope he can land on his feet somewhere. Outside of his absurd strikeout totals, he did provide a few moments of entertaining baseball.