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6/16/1984 (32 y, 8 m, 11 d)
2002 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 19, Overall: 60, Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
$7.5M / 2 Years (2016 - 2017)
Broxton, who's slated to once again be a prominent part of the Cardinals bullpen in 2017, will look to significantly improve his performance at Busch Stadium, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. (2/13/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
In his first full year as a closer, Broxton had a fantastic season. He led all pitchers with a 13.50 K/9 and his 2.02 GB/FB ratio was 16th best among relievers. Broxton enjoyed his best season yet in inducing ground balls, as his 56.1% rate was up over 11% from 2008. But even with all of the extra grounders, his BABIP fell 26 points to .285 for the season. Broxton faced 300 batters last season and gave up just 25 line drives, an indication of how difficult it was to get a good swing against him. Broxton is known for his fastball – his 97.7 mph average velocity was the highest of any pitcher in the Majors – but his slider is also a top-notch pitch. Pitch Type Values showed his slider as his most effective pitch and it helped Broxton chalk up an O-Swing% of 29.5% in 2009. It all added up to a 2.9 WAR, the highest of any reliever in the Majors.
The Year Ahead:
Although Broxton finished sixth in the National League in saves, he was the most valuable fantasy pitcher in the game last year. Obviously the 114 strikeouts played a big role, but Broxton also finished tied for third among relievers in wins and ninth in WHIP. He is a good bet to be one of the top relievers again next season. Broxton posted a FIP of 1.97 last year, 64 points lower than his ERA. After posting a miniscule 3.8% HR/FB mark in 2008, Broxton had a 9.3% mark last season, directly in line with his results from 2006-07. Also working in his favor is that manager Joe Torre rarely asks Broxton to get more than three outs. He made 76 appearances and logged 80 innings last year. (Brian Joura)
Broxton wasn't quite the force of prior seasons in 2010, with declining numbers in almost every category, not only from his superlative 2009 performance, but from his career averages as well. This is worth noting when bidding on Broxton, especially since the Dodgers have a tremendous setup man in Hon-Chih Kuo who could easily close. Having said that, Broxton is set to be the closer for 2011, and there are signs that 2010 was partly due to bad luck, particularly with respect to balls in play. Broxton remains an elite closer, and should bounce back to post a season better than he did in 2010. Just don't expect him to repeat 2009. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Broxton should pitch better in 2011 than he did in 2010. He's still an elite closer, but there are some warning signs, as well.
Broxton was arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball from 2006 through the middle of 2010, when a one-inning, 48-pitch outing against the Yankees seemed to change everything. The burly right-hander walked (21) nearly as many batters as he struck out (24) the rest of the way, and his 2011 season was cut short with elbow problems. The Royals rolled the dice and added Broxton as a setup man this year, hoping that he could get back to being the guy he was before that brutal outing against New York. If he does, you've got a super high strikeout/low-ERA guy for your holds league, but if not, he's unrosterable. Broxton is very much a wildcard heading into 2012, with the potential to be an elite holds candidate as well as a total bust. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Broxton is a total wildcard heading into 2012, with a chance to be an elite holds reliever or a complete dud. The health of his elbow is probably the biggest thing to keep an eye on before your draft/auction.
With Aroldis Chapman headed to the rotation, Jonathan Broxton will enter the season as the Red's closer. The team does have a quality bullpen, however, so Broxton does not quite have the choke-hold lock on the closer position as many would like out of a drafted closer. Even so, Broxton bounced back nicely last year in his short stint as the Royals' closer before being traded to Cincinnati, saving 23 games in 27 opportunities and posting a 2.27 ERA. Even though his ERA rose a few notches when he was traded to the Reds, his peripherals were more impressive as his strikeout rate and walk rate both improved. We have seen Broxton perform very well and very poorly over the course of his career, and relievers are known as some of the more volatile players in the sport, so there is definitely a decent amount of risk in drafting Broxton. Saves are saves though, and he is in line to be the closer on one of the best teams in the National League, which should lead to many opportunities and some solid fantasy value. (Ben Duronio)
The Quick Opinion:
Is Broxton an elite closer like many felt he would be in Los Angeles? No, but his track record does hide a good deal of success even with the struggles he faced in 2010 and 2011.
The 29-year-old reliever is an unknown heading into the 2014 season and is currently unrosterable. He's recovering from offseason elbow surgery and experienced a significant decline in both fastball velocity and strikeout rate. Even those optimistic owners who believe he can bounce back and regain his 2012 form have to wrestle with the fact that he's not even guaranteed a setup role, if healthy. (JP Breen)
As long as Jonathan Broxton's right elbow has been feeling good, he's been an effective late-inning relief option. In five pre-injury years from 2006-10, he was in an elite class of baseball closers among Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, and late-career Mariano Rivera. Elbow surgery derailed his train wreck 2011 season, but he was healthy and effective in 2012. In 2013, he was again hurt and bad as the elbow crept back up, but once again he rebounded nicely with a 2.30 ERA and 3.37 FIP in 2014. As Broxton's career went on, he began relying more and more on his slider, throwing it as often as 37% of the time in an injury-plagued 2013 season. Last year, Broxton cut his slider usage to just 20% -- the lowest rate of his career -- perhaps in an attempt to keep himself healthy. The slider is arguably the most stressful pitch on an arm, and it's something worth knowing considering the key to Broxton's success is his health. Broxton was traded to a bullpen of disarray in Milwaukee at the trade deadline, and the closer job appears to be his to lose. If he does lose it, it's more likely due to injury than poor performance. (August Fagerstrom)
The Quick Opinion:
Broxton is set to open the season as the closer in Milwaukee, where the bullpen has been a disaster the past few seasons. As long as Broxton has been healthy, he's been reliable, and he's coming off an injury-free 2014 in which he cut his slider usage nearly in half. He's not the elite closer he once was, but he could be a cheap source for saves, provided his elbow doesn't act back up.
Broxton has been around for ever but is still just 31 years old, which is a testament to the quality late-inning career he has had thus far. In agreeing to a two-year deal with the Cardinals, Broxton has accepted a middle-relief slash set up role for the foreseeable future. Broxton gave up a ton of home runs and had an enormous batting average on balls in play in Milwaukee before moving to St. Louis and finishing the season quite well. Broxton can still strike out a ton of batters even though his command has never been something to write home about. He will probably be the primary set up man in St. Louis as he will compete with Jonathan Walden for eighth inning duties. One would expect Broxton to be second in line for saves after Trevor Rosenthal, but new addition Seung-hwan Oh could be an option as well. Broxton will have to perform well to both hold off his competition for the eighth inning role and for backup closer duties. Rosenthal has one of the strongest holds on his closer position, so it would take an injury or a plethora of blown saves for anyone else to get a shot. Broxton looks more like an asset in holds leagues rather than a handcuff in standard formats. (Ben Duronio)
The Quick Opinion:
After losing his second job as a closer, Broxton has resigned himself to set up duties by accepting a two-year deal in St. Louis. Behind one of the better closers in the game in Trevor Rosenthal, an injury would need to occur to get Broxton into the ninth inning consistently for the Cardinals.
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Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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