- Full name Benjamin Isaac Broussard
- Born 09/24/1976 in Beaumont, TX
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Mcneese State
- Debut 06/22/2002
Drafted in the 2nd round (65th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds in 1999 (signed for $380,000).
View Draft Report1B Ben Broussard was the hitter of the year in the Southland Conference in 1998 but wasn't drafted. He took that snub as an incentive to get bigger and stronger for his senior year. He hit 27 homers and drove balls farther and faster than before, and now is looked as a legitimate lefthanded bat.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Yet another of the many prospects the Indians added during 2002, Broussard was acquired from Cincinnati in a trade for Russell Branyan. With the presence of Jim Thome at first base, Broussard was moved to the outfield following the deal. The transition didn't go especially well, because at times he seemed so occupied with learning the outfield that it detracted from his hitting. He's an offensive-minded player with the power to hit 20-25 homers, similar to Brian Daubach but with a better batting eye. Broussard went from a gap-to-gap approach to more of a pull hitter by the end of the season. First base is still Broussard's best position. He handles himself well around the bag and has soft hands. As a left fielder, his best tool is his arm. He still needs work at that position, as well as on his overall strength and conditioning. When Thome signed with the Phillies, Broussard had a good chance to replace him until the Indians traded for Travis Hafner. He still figures into the big league picture somewhere.
Adam Dunn deservedly got most of the headlines, but Broussard also had a productive 2001 season. He led the Southern League in hitting and slugging percentage (.592), while ranking second in on-base percentage (.428) and fifth in home runs. Broussard's performance erased the disappointment of a 2000 season that was marred by a wrist injury. The Reds' hopes that Broussard would cut down on his strikeouts were fulfilled. Like Sean Casey, Broussard hasn't yet developed overwhelming power but compensates by using the entire ballpark. Broussard uses nice quick hands in his swing, the key to his versatility as a hitter. Broussard played primarily first base in 2001 after drifting between there and left field the previous two seasons. He's barely adequate at both spots. The focus on Broussard will intensify now that he's on the 40-man roster. The Reds' emphasis on employing young, inexpensive talent could afford him the opportunity to reach the majors soon, though he'll also have to deal with a logjam at his positions.
Broussard was the talk of the organization in 1999 after getting drafted in the second round. He soared almost immediately from Rookie ball to Double-A, batting .332 overall. He followed that by hitting .387-9-34 in the California Fall League, narrowly missing the league's triple crown. A wrist injury bothered Broussard throughout 2000, and he hit .353 before he got hurt and just .094 afterward. A good low-ball hitter, he can drive the ball out of the park to all fields. He's selective at the plate, though he can improve his contact. The Reds expect him to play mostly first base, after shifting him between first and the outfield the last two years. Broussard likely will return to Double-A at the outset of 2001, though he could be promoted quickly.
Minor League Top Prospects
Most managers considered Broussard to be the best hitter in the Southern League last year. After a wrist injury early this season limited his production for most of the first half, Broussard regained that status and won the batting title. Managers raved about the minor adjustments Broussard made at the plate. He shortened his stroke, thereby improving his ability to hit for power and average. He drove the ball more consistently. "I really like his bat," Richards said. "He has the best idea of what he wants to do at the plate of anyone in the league." Broussard also made some adjustments on defense while moving from the outfield to first base. He won't win Gold Gloves in the future, but he has enough athleticism and instincts to play either position at higher levels.
Broussard wrote his name in the Pioneer League record books with a three-homer game against Great Falls in which he collected 11 RBIs and 16 total bases. He was promoted to the Class A Midwest League and eventually to the Double-A Southern League before the end of the summer. Broussard has explosive power to all fields and was called a "pole to pole" hitter by one manager. A first baseman in college, his defense in left field was described as playable but improving. Broussard's 6.7 speed in the 60 will help his outfield play but he is limited to left field by his arm strength.