Broxton Better than Advertised

August 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm 2 comments

Jonathan Broxton

Jonathan Broxton is rarely mentioned in talks as an elite reliever. It’s probably because he wasn’t a full-time “closer” until this season and relievers rarely get mentioned unless they are racking up the overrated “save”.

Well, Broxton is racking up those saves this season (he has 28) but there still seems to be little talk of him. We here more about Joe Torre running his pen to the ground than we do about one of the most dominant arms in the game.

Broxton currently sits at 7-1 with 28 saves, 1 hold (his infamous “8th inning save), and a 2.83 ERA.  Pretty good numbers, but he has actually out performed them.

Hitters are hitting a major league low (min 60 innings) .166 against Broxton and slugging for a major league low (tied) of .251 this year.  Hitters are just flat out finding it hard to make contact with Broxton’s stuff.  He leads the majors with a 13.28 K/9 rate (89 strikeouts in 60.1 innings), and when they do make contact it is pretty weak.  Hitters are only hitting line-drives off of Broxton 17.7% of the time and his groundball rate is the best of his career at 54%.

Broxton’s stuff is also the best it has ever been.  His fastball averages 97.8 mph (best in the majors by 1.6 mph), his slider averages 88.1 mph (2nd behind Andrew Bailey) and hitter’s contact percentage is 69.3%.  All are top marks for Broxton’s young career.

Broxton’s numbers at the surface are great but his numbers below the surface are some of the best, if not the best, in the entire league.  So, next time you talk about relievers, please tone down the talk on saves and give guys like Broxton a little more attention.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlie  |  August 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    That hold was vs. the Cubs and that was because Torre wanted to give Sherrill a save opp incase Broxton couldn’t fight his way through his toe problem.

    He’s vastly underrated and was throughing 102 last night and his slider was 93, needless to say, the gun was a bit whacked up.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I actually agree with the “hold” but not for the reason Torre did it. One run game and the 3-4-5 hitters up in the 8th. The manager should put his best reliever in for that, and he did, but not for the right reason. If there were no “save” stat this type of managing would be more common. Sad to see a stat manage a game. Either way, Broxton is very good and underrated.


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