Broxton, 31, signed with Minnesota over the winter but never got a call to the big leagues this year even as the club has endured multiple injuries in the outfield. Byron Buxton, Alex Kirilloff and Jake Cave have all spent significant time on the injured list — Kirilloff’s season is over; Buxton has played in just 27 games — and Max Kepler has also missed some time.
Broxton would’ve seemed a natural fit to pick up some of those at-bats had he been productive, but that simply hasn’t been the case. The former Brewers center fielder has appeared in 73 games in St. Paul but posted just a .186/.288/.335 batting line with nine home runs. Broxton is 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts and has walked at a strong 11.7 percent clip, but his longstanding strikeout issues have climbed to new heights in 2021. He punched out in 44 percent of his plate appearances with the Saints prior to being cut loose.
Few players can match Broxton’s combination of power and speed, but sky-high strikeout tendencies have always come along with that tantalizing mix of tools. Even at his best with the 2016-17 Brewers, when Broxton hit .227/.318/.424 with 29 home runs and 44 steals in 707 trips to the plate, he fanned at a 37.6 percent pace.
It’s common, however, for contending clubs to pick up fleet-footed veterans like this in advance of September roster expansion. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Broxton land elsewhere on a minor league deal and eventually surface with a contender who can afford to carry a player who is primarily a pinch-runner or late-inning defensive specialist on its roster. Broxton is capable of playing all three outfield spots and carries a career mark of 19 Defensive Runs Saved in 2128 innings in center field. Overall, he’s a .209/.297/.388 hitter with 39 homers and 60 steals in 1026 big league plate appearances.