Source: Pirates to Call Up Keon Broxton

The Indianapolis Indians were eliminated from the Triple-A playoffs last night, losing the deciding game of the International League championship series. Today, the Pirates are calling up outfielder Keon Broxton, Pirates Prospects has learned through a source.

Broxton returned to Altoona this year, posting a .302/.365/.464 line in 204 plate appearances. This followed a 2014 season where he was acquired from Arizona for cash considerations, then posted a breakout season at the level with a .275/.369/.484 line. He was finally moved up to Triple-A this year, where he put up a .256/.352/.423 line in 367 plate appearances.

There was an interesting situation involved here, as Broxton would have been eligible for minor league free agency following the season. By calling him up, the Pirates get his two remaining option years and six years of control. That means he can remain in the organization next year as an outfield depth option out of Triple-A, or an option for the fourth outfield spot in the majors.

Broxton has some speed, with 28 stolen bases in 37 attempts in Triple-A, along with the range to play center field. He should be used in the short-term as an additional pinch runner. He’s not just a speed guy though, as he does hit for some power, with a .167 ISO in Triple-A. He also gets on base a lot via walks, making him a high OBP guy. The downside is that he strikes out a lot, with a 28.6% strikeout rate in Triple-A. This combination means that he could be a three-true-outcomes type player, with the exception that he doesn’t hit a lot of home runs, but instead provides power through extra base hits, while also providing defensive value and value on the bases.

No word yet on who is coming off the 40-man roster to make room, although my guess is that the Pirates will place Jung-ho Kang on the 60-day disabled list, which would allow them to bring up Broxton without losing anyone.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    September 20, 2015 9:38 am

    We need a SP or two more….I can think of one that may be able to help this team…

    • Yeah, me too. Chad Kuhl, possibly even Stephen Brault. Better command of the strike zone.

      • Morton is the only one that pitched badly recently. Even Locke has been solid his last few starts. I think the bigger issue with the Pirates has been situational hitting. It just be me but it seems like their LOB has been real high the last few weeks.

        • A part of the situational hitting problem is the tendency of Harrison and Marte to make outs on the first pitch. It is very frustrating to watch, and it hurts the concept of driving up the starter’s pitch count.

          • One issue with that is that Harrison also is a better hitter on first pitch strikes. So him taking a strike actually may lead to a worse overall offensive performance from him, as “driving up the pitch count” is good but not really his best talent.

        • Chuckie will pitch better next year his contract expires!

        • Sarcasm was the point of that comment Kozy.

      • No one at Indianapolis would be an improvement over the current rotation and since Vance Worley was the best option and he went to the bullpen, they obviously wouldn’t use any of them as starters. Volstad just pitched last night, so he’s out for five days and they called up Boscan three times without using him. Kuhl has one AAA game so no way they would use him.

        That means your three best options at AAA are all basically long relief options for the majors and they get progressively worse. Plus Blanton is the top long relief man, so if any of those other three came up, they would be behind two other players. Not much of a need for that

        • Having seen all of the pitching prospects at the upper levels on numerous occasions ,I am very much aware of that John, as opposed to certain other commenters I see here. That was my way of answering that stupid comment that was referring to Glasnow.

          • I was just expanding on your comment actually, that’s why I put it there. It was for everyone. No one who has watched Glasnow pitch in AAA thinks he’s close to ready, so that’s why I didn’t even mention him.

        • Actually, you should have used that reply on BuccoFansStuckILaLaLand.

      • Unless he can improve his strikeout rate, Kuhl’s upside is Charlie Morton.

        • That seems to be an opinion that lacks having seen Kuhl pitch and just looked at his stats. Morton struggles with location and against LHP, where as Kuhl didnt see that level of location issues this year.

          Yes, both arent high K guys. But Morton’s issues are against LHP and with spotty control at times, where as currently Kuhl is showing fine command and control. He’s not ready yet, but he’ll be more consistent than Morton if he continues showing what he did this year. Less pure stuff, better control.

          • I also bet Morton would strike out a batter per inning or more at the same AA level Kuhl just passed through. His curveball is far better than either of Kuhl’s secondaries. Kuhl *may* be able to get away with this low of a K rate in the Majors, but it doesn’t say much that he’s doing it in AA.

            Regardless, what exactly is crazy about saying Chad Kuhl’s upside is Charlie Morton? That would be one hell of a result for 9th round pick.

            • It would be, i just see differences in those two players that make a comparison not very apt. Maybe in pure WAR totals or results, but it’s not a similar pitcher really at all.

              Or, i guess to clarify, it wont be if Kuhl keeps developing from this point on. I dont think the ceiling/upside is only Morton for Kuhl, due to his better command. Neither will K a ton of people, but in a upside scenario i see Kuhl able to more consistently throw strikes than Morton. Morton has better stuff than Kuhl, Kuhl (if he reaches his upside) can command his lesser stuff better than Morton.

              At this point, Kuhl is just a AA arm who had a good year so aways away from even making it a discussion.

        • You don’t have a clue.

    • Its okay to be wrong.

      • I hope you aren’t counting on him to admit that Luke.He seems to think he knows more than all of the people making decisions in the Organization.

  • Good move from the standpoint of not losing a possible prospect in Broxton. Looks like Indy team could get crowded next year. But that’s a good thing.

  • This makes a lot of sense as Broxton may be the best 4th OF option next season (though I like Decker, and Snider would be great if, and it’s a big if, he’d be happy in that role now that Polanco has clearly established himself).

  • Is it possible to do an article on what the process is from the organizational standpoint when a player is promoted? Is it call Hurdle, agent, player order of operation from the FO? Is the agent even involved with it from the Pirates perspective? What about a gut everyone knows is coming up 48hrs, is it just said…”don’t get comfy?”
    Does Neal feel his FO is obligated to tell an agent anything at all or is it proper protocol throughout baseball to do so?
    How much of this is the same process for minor league promotions? Just something I’ve been curious about and with those of us who are subscribers, we’re obviously the “nerdy” fans of the fan base who enjoy the digging, numbers, prospects, etc…lol

    You guys are doing great!

    -Travis

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