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Keon HR like a boss; fly ball? At a loss

Brewers center fielder connects for homer tracked at 489 feet
Special to MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Keon Broxton can't remember ever barreling a ball like he did in the Brewers' 6-4 win over the Cardinals on Thursday. The center fielder hit a 489-foot home run, projected by Statcast™, for the second-longest homer in the Majors this season.

"I remember a ball like that in the Minor Leagues," Broxton said. "Tonight, I really didn't even think I got it that good. It just felt like a nice, smooth swing, and it hit the sweet spot. 489, that's pretty far. I didn't think I had that in me. So I shocked myself a little bit."

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ST. LOUIS -- Keon Broxton can't remember ever barreling a ball like he did in the Brewers' 6-4 win over the Cardinals on Thursday. The center fielder hit a 489-foot home run, projected by Statcast™, for the second-longest homer in the Majors this season.

"I remember a ball like that in the Minor Leagues," Broxton said. "Tonight, I really didn't even think I got it that good. It just felt like a nice, smooth swing, and it hit the sweet spot. 489, that's pretty far. I didn't think I had that in me. So I shocked myself a little bit."

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has the longest homer in the Majors this season -- a 495-foot blast this past Saturday.

Broxton's two-run homer came off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha in the second inning, tying the game at 2 and landing halfway up the left-center-field bleachers. It had an exit velocity of 109 mph, and was the longest homer at Busch Stadium in the Statcast™ era (since 2015), besting the previous mark of 461 set by by Justin Ruggiano and Pedro Alvarez.

"That's rare air for sure," manager Craig Counsell said.

"I was shocked," Broxton said. "I'm blessed to be able to do that."

He's also blessed to have Hernan Perez playing alongside him in left field. In the bottom of the seventh, with the game tied at 4, Tommy Pham lifted a fly ball to left-center, well within Broxton's range. Only he didn't see it. Thankfully, Perez did, and ran 124 feet, according to Statcast™, to record the out.

"The H.P. one in the seventh was just ... his awareness of the game, and always being on his toes," Counsell said. "He never gave up on the ball. Maybe he set a Statcast™ record for farthest distance traveled. He might be close there. It's just awareness, and H.P.'s always got it."

Incidentally, Judge also has the longest distance traveled to catch an out this season, sprinting 135 feet on May 12 against the Astros.

Video: MIL@STL: Broxton loses ball, Perez makes the catch

Broxton's homer was his third in five games, and his ninth of the season. He hit nine homers in 75 games last year, his first with the Brewers after being traded from the Pirates.

Eric Thames wasn't surprised by Thursday's blast. In fact, the Brewers first baseman saw something similar during batting practice a few hours earlier.

"In BP, he hit a ball the same distance, the same spot," Thames said. "It was halfway to center field. It was a blast. That homer was like the same exact spot. It was a shot. He's a strong guy, very lanky. When the ball hits his barrel, he's a strong cat. I've seen it before. … I'm not surprised he's got that power in him."

Broxton said he's been trying to simplify his approach at the plate. His big blast, which came on an effortless-looking swing, is something he thinks he can build off moving forward.

"It helps me in my later at-bats to know I don't have to do too much," Broxton said. "That's what I've been trying to do lately, is just see the ball and make good contact. So for it to go that far when I'm thinking that, it's pretty impressive."

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Brewers on Thursday.

Milwaukee Brewers, Keon Broxton