I know I've been talking this kid up a lot lately and maybe I'm going overboard a little, but I just can't say enough about the progress Keon Broxton has made in the last several months. As recently as May of this year it was starting to look like he was never going to make it above A ball. He was striking out in droves, he was obviously depressed about repeating at Visalia, and he was sending out tweets about wishing he had decided to play football. When he was drafted in 2009 out of Santa Fe College and signed for $400,000 he was quoted as saying he expected to be playing in the big leagues within 3 years. Well, that hasn't happened obviously and he still might never get there. But he's finally getting his strikeouts under control and showing some power in his bat. After a miserable April this year, he has his average since then hovering around .270 and has 15 home runs with 47 RBI hitting mostly out of the 7 spot. In his last 10 games though he's hitting .350 with 5 home runs and 10 RBI. He will certainly head to Mobile next year where the real test will come. He's still only 22 but he needs to not need 2 years to get through each level going forward. If he can manage that it's not outrageous to think he could arrive in 2015 as a plus defender center fielder with some power to tap into. The odds are still probably against him, but I'd at least give him a chance now. He has some serious natural ability, so here's hoping he can continue to progress.
3 Stars: Bradin Hagens, Visalia 6 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 ER, W (3-4)
2 Stars: Kerry Jenkins, South Bend 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 HR (4), 3 RBI
1 Star: Keon Broxton, Visalia 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 HR (15), 1 RBI
0 Stars: Brett Lorin, Mobile 1.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 6 ER
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 2 @ Iowa 1. A patchwork of 5 pitchers combined to hold Iowa to 1 run led by recently demoted Brad Bergeson who started and went 3.2 innings allowing no runs on 1 hit and 1 walk, while striking out 3. Three relievers held Iowa to 1 run over the next 4+ innings and Bryan Shaw pitched the 9th for his 2nd save. Reno's offense did nothing until late scoring 1 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th for the razor-thin victory. Josh Bell had 2 hits with an RBI and Adam Eaton added a double and a walk.
High A: Visalia 8 Stockton 2. Since being moved to the starting rotation at the beginning of July Bradin Hagens is starting to find his groove. He tossed 6 shutout innings yesterday on 3 hits and 3 walks with 6 strikeouts. Since July 3 he has a 3.03 ERA with 32 Ks in 36 innings, though 21 walks as well. Raoul Torres got the offense going with a 3-run homer in the 2nd and Keon Broxton added a solo shot in the 6th.
Low A: South Bend 8 @ Lake County 1. Tyler Green had an outstanding start and the offense backed him up big time with 5 home runs in the 8-1 romp. Green allowed just a solo home run through 7 innings while yielding 7 hits and 1 walk. Kerry Jenkins led the offense with a 2-homer game and Marc Bourgeois had 3 hits including a triple and a home run. Roidany Aguila and Tom Belza had the other home runs.
Short Season A: Yakima 2 @ Tri-City 3. Austin Platt's second start for Yakima went better than his first, though he was far from great. He did finish 6 innings giving up 3 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks. Joseph Loftus hit a solo home run in the 6th to tie the game at 2 but Tri-City scored the tie-breaker in the bottom half and the offense could do no more. Josh Parr had 2 hits with a double.
Rookie: Missoula 5 Helena 6. After winning 6-5 the day before the Osprey dropped this one by the same score. Starter Ross Gerdeman fell back to earth after a couple of good outings when he gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in 5 innings on 7 hits and a walk. Missoula did score 2 in the 8th to tie it but lost it in the 12th. Breland Almadova paced the offense with a single and a double.