Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Brian Bixler impressing

It's nearly midway through March and I'm impressed with a few performances that some Pirates players are putting up in Spring Training. But none has impressed me more than Brian Bixler. Obviously, I have not been able to see him play in Bradenton, but from the numbers and what I'm reading, Bixler is doing quite a job in front of the Pirates brass.



Bixler has played in eight games this Spring and is hitting .417 (10-for-24). He's scored nine runs, hit two doubles, one triple and one home run. He hasn't stole a base, but he's limited his strikeouts. He's struck out six times, but has evened that out with four walks.

If these early numbers are any indication, Bixler could be on the verge of a big season in the minor leagues. It's desperately needed out of him, too. He was drafted in the second round, which many considered too high for him. And over his seasons after being drafted, he's gotten a little better at each level.



Should Bixler continue this pace, he'll put to rest the name of Brent Lillibridge.

Earlier this Spring, the PG posted a small report on Bixler being on the way up. Director of Player Development Brian Graham had some good things to say about the young shortstop at the time.

"Much, much improved," Graham said. "This guy's an above-average runner with great agility, really good balance. He showed that last season, and he's been really impressive in this camp."


With Jack Wilson's steady decline in performance, he may see a way out of Pittsburgh if Bixler can keep it up. He might join Andrew McCutchen at the same time and add an influx of young talent to the team in the next year or two.

LINKS:
Brian Bixler - The Baseball Cube
Brian Bixler - Baseball-Reference Bullpen
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