Broxton Takes Hitting To Another Level





PHOENIX The tools had been evident since day one, not so much the results. That changed for Diamondbacks outfielder Keon Broxton after a candid assessment right around the all-star break by minor league field coordinator Jeff Pico, who mentioned to Broxton that he did not seem prepared to hit a fastball.

"For whatever reason, it kind of flipped the switch for him," farm director Mike Bell said.

Broxton took the message to heart and became a more aggressive player. That mindset carried him in the second half at high Class A Visalia, and on to the Triple-A National Championship game, where he hit a two-run home run and made a diving catch in left field for the final out in Reno's 10-3 victory over Pawtucket in Durham, N.C.

Broxton, a third-round pick in 2009 who turned down a football opportunity to sign with Arizona, batted .267/.326/.437 in 490 at-bats during his second tour of Visalia. He had career highs in home runs (19), RBIs (62) and doubles (24) while adding 21 stolen bases. He hit .293 and added 11 of his homers after the all-star break.

"Overall, he became a more aggressive player," Bell said. "He was hitting the fastball and laying off breaking balls. It was good to see that come together for him."

Broxton trimmed his strikeouts to 136, after 172 strikeouts in each of the previous two seasons. Bell attributed the change to an attack mentality.

"Sometimes when you are passive, that's when you swing at bad pitches and take good ones," Bell said. "I believe when guys are striking out a lot, it's their approach. Are they worried about striking out? Are they just trying to make contact? That can get you in trouble, instead of being aggressive in the strike zone."

Broxton arrived in Reno at the start of the PCL playoffs and singled in his first appearance as a pinch-hitter. He made two starts before a 2-for-4 day against Pawtucket. "He looked like he belonged," Bell said.

SNAKE BITES


• Third-base coach Matt Williams will manage the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. The Diamondbacks have assigned third baseman Matt Davidson, shortstop Chris Owings, infielder Tyler Bortnick and righthanders Chase Anderson, Evan Marshall, Kevin Munson and Eric Smith to the defending-champion Rafters.

• Arizona decided not to promote righthander Trevor Bauer following Reno's championship. General manager Kevin Towers, who was on hand for Bauer's start in Durham, denied that Bauer's 17 walks in three playoff starts factored into the decision, but said Bauer reached his innings limit.