Keon Broxton helped the Milwaukee Brewers say “Welcome to the big leagues” to Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.
Broxton hit a fastball for a line-drive home run leading off the second inning, helping to spoil Ohtani’s first U.S. start on Saturday in Tempe, Arizona.
Ohtani, 23, departed two batters later after reaching his pitch limit in an unofficial-but-much-anticipated debut in the Angels’ 6-5 win.
“I think he’s got great stuff. He has the ability to be a Major League Baseball player, for sure,” said Broxton, who hit 20 home runs last season but finds himself fighting for a spot in the Brewers’ crowded outfield. “In spring training, it’s hard to get a good judge on how the guy is feeling or if all of his stuff is locked in. I think there’s definitely more there; he’s going to improve.”
A right-handed power pitcher and left-handed slugger, Ohtani threw 17 of his 31 pitches for strikes.
Milwaukee leadoff hitter Jonathan Villar greeted him by hitting a 3-1 fastball for a ground-rule double over the center-field fence, and later scored on a wild pitch coupled with a throwing error charged to Angels catcher Martin Maldonado.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn’t put Ohtani in the batting order.