- Full name Jonathan Roy Broxton
- Born 06/16/1984 in Augusta, GA
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 285 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Burke County
- Debut 07/29/2005
Drafted in the 2nd round (60th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002 (signed for $685,000).
View Draft ReportBroxton looks like a future power closer, though some teams have a hard time getting past his body. He's 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, is thick throughout his body and looks more like a tight end than a pitcher. If he gets much bigger, Broxton could have trouble repeating his delivery and throwing strikes. He has thrown 90-92 every time out, peaking at 97 mph. He still has plenty of work to do with his slider and changeup.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Because of his powerful fastball-slider mix, dogged demeanor and husky frame, Broxton long has been targeted as a future closer. When Eric Gagne went down for the season, the Dodgers moved Broxton to the bullpen in Double-A and called him up five weeks later. Albert Pujols was his first strikeout victim. Broxton's heavy, sinking fastball climbed from 92-94 mph to 96-98 and he touched triple digits when he moved to the bullpen. His filthy slider sits near 88 mph with good tilt. He'll flash a two-seamer against lefthanders. His delivery is fluid. He pounds the strike zone. Broxton is still learning how to pitch and set up hitters. As a reliever, he didn't use his changeup often. It's a fringe-average pitch that could help him against lefties. He's a big man and will have to watch his weight closely. Gagne is expected to be ready for spring training and the Dodgers have a strong complement of relievers with more experience than Broxton. Nonetheless, he should win a job in their bullpen out of spring camp and become Gagne's eventual successor as closer.
After missing much of 2003 with wrist tendinitis and a biceps strain, Broxton reported to spring training healthy and in much better shape. Nicknamed "Bull," he's the most physically imposing pitching prospect in the system. Broxton pounds the strike zone with a heavy 92-93 mph sinker, which he complements with a sharp, mid-80s slider. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot and repeats his delivery consistently despite his size. He has good makeup and pitches with tenacity. Broxton struggles with his changeup grip. He prefers to throw the pitch similar to a palmball and tends to raise his arm angle, tipping it off to astute hitters. Maintaining his body will be important after his weight soared as high as 277 pounds in 2003. If he develops the changeup, Broxton profiles as a potential No. 2 starter in the big leagues. He should open the season in the Double-A rotation, though he could move to late-inning relief down the road.
After an impressive spring, Broxton was hampered by wrist tendinitis and later a biceps strain throughout most of the regular season. None of that prevented him from blowing 97-mph heat in instructional league, as he had done in spring training. Known as "The Bull," Broxton creates outstanding leverage to the plate with his 6-foot-4 frame and high three-quarters arm slot. His fastball dipped to 86-87 when he was nagged by the biceps injury, but it rarely dips below 90 and sits around 94 with heavy sink when he's healthy. He demonstrates excellent command of his 85-86 mph slider, which breaks sharply off the table. After learning a changeup from minor league pitching instructor Mark Brewer in 2002, Broxton continued to show a feel for the pitch after working on it with South Georgia pitching coach Roger McDowell last year. Broxton has a high-maintenance body that requires extra attention. His weight soared as high as 277 during the season. The Dodgers envision him as a workhorse and don't expect the injuries he battled last season to linger and affect his development. He'll continue to build innings as a starter in high Class A, though some scouts project him eventually moving to the bullpen. Broxton does have three potential plus pitches, which is more than enough to keep him in the rotation.
Nicknamed "The Bull," Broxton reminds scouts of Angels prospect Bobby Jenks for his large frame and power-pitcher mentality. Broxton turned down a Georgia Southern scholarship to sign for $685,000 as a 2002 second-round pick. A big-boned kid at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, he'll have to keep his weight under control. If he can, the Dodgers view his size as a plus because he's strong and durable. Broxton has a textbook delivery, with an effortless action and good arm speed. He pours 94-95 mph fastballs into the zone and tops out at an explosive 97. He threw four pitches in high school, including a slider and curveball, but the Dodgers say he'll be more effective if he focuses on one breaking ball. His curve shows more promise, with good velocity and late depth. Broxton made impressive progress on his changeup with roving instructor Mark Brewer last fall. He also made an adjustment to speed up his times to the plate with a new slide step. He throws strikes and can blow the ball by hitters. Broxton remains a starter for now, and he can fall back on being a quality set-up man or potential closer if he can't stay in the rotation for the long term.
Minor League Top Prospects
Every manager who commented on Broxton used the word "big." His large 6-foot-4 frame has been a problem in the past, when his weight ballooned to 277 pounds, but he got it under control this season. Broxton began the year in Jacksonville's rotation, where his plus fastball sat in the 92-94 mph range, but the Dodgers moved him to the bullpen after 13 starts to accelerate his path to the majors. He took well to the switch, and his velocity increased to 96-98 mph during his shorter relief stints. He even touched 100 a couple of times. He also has worked hard to refine his two-seamer, using the extra movement on that pitch to battle lefthanders. His slider is an effective complement to his heat.
Like Liriano, Broxton rebounded to regain his elite prospect status in 2004. A year after wrist tendinitis and a biceps strain limited him to 37 innings, he regained his velocity and durability. Broxton has an easy delivery and good arm action. There are some concerns about his heavy frame, and his fastball sometimes wavered when he got tired. Sometimes he'd sit at 92-93 mph and touch 95, while at others he'd pitch at 89-90. Broxton's slider is a plus pitch and his change is also solid, though he doesn't throw it much. If he can polish his command and improve his conditioning, he could be a No. 2 starter.
One manager said Broxton looked like a bigger, wider version of Eric Gagne. He also threw like Gagne, sans goggles and goatee. "The stuff that was coming out of his arm, I couldn't believe he was 18," Kotchman said. "That's some good stuff." Broxton pitches consistently at 94-95 mph with his fastball and can reach 97. He's also working to improve his control with his curveball, slider and changeup. He tends to get a little too emotional on the mound, which takes away from his command and focus. "He's like a bull in a china shop," Bilardello said. "Once he learns to settle down and control his emotions--he just gets so hyper--he'll be a great closer. Or he could be a good starter."
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Reliever in the National League in 2009
- Rated Best Fastball in the National League in 2009
- Rated Best Slider in the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006
- Rated Best Fastball in the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006