Bixler Having Solid Season

Lynchburg Hillcats shortstop Brian Bixler had a productive first half in the Class A Carolina League and the Pittsburgh Pirate prospect was rewarded with a spot on the Carolina League All-Star squad, who will face the California League All-Stars on June 27.

Bixler is looking forward to the experience.

"I'm very excited," Bixler said. "I'm glad to have that honor and be able to go represent out organization and hopefully do my best and I'm just proud to be there and I'm excited to go."

In 69 games Bixler is hitting .308, good for fourth place in the Carolina League batting race. He has five home runs and 33 RBI.

"It's been the adjustments I've made in my game," Bixler offered. "Going up to a higher level and I made a few adjustments I needed to get better at. It's just helped me overall - just putting the ball in play more and it's just working out with the statistics."

Hillcat's manager Gary Green is pleased with Bixler's play.

"He's been outstanding," Green stated. "He's better than I expected. He's certainly a bright spot and he was very consistent the whole first half and certainly is justified in going to the All-Star game."

Bixler is trying to stay on an even keel.

"I'm trying not to let my emotions get carried away," Bixler said. "You want to do well sometimes (so) you overdo it. And then you don't do it. I'm just trying to stay calm and stay within myself."

Bixler's batting statistics catch you eye, but he has also been steady in the field.

He's very consistent in the field," said Green. "He makes all the routine plays, he's not very flashy, but he makes all the routine plays and that's what you're looking for out of your middle infielders. Guys that are going to make the routine plays consistently and that's what he's able to do."

"I'm fairly confident in the field right now and I'm doing well. That's another thing that I just keep trying to get better at. Playing everyday and that daily grind on your body sometimes people don't notice how tired you are at times. You know the ability is there, it's just not making little mistakes in the field," Bixler said.

Bixler is constantly working on all aspects of his game. He has struck out 55 times and is working to cut down on that statistic.

"I'm definitely trying to cut down on them," he explained. "I definitely have and I've improved in that area. Strikeouts are going to happen - it's just going to take time. Experience will come with it and I'll just keep working on that and good things will happen. I'm working real hard to get better with that."

Like all minor leaguers Bixler wants to move up the ladder, but he isn't overly concerned about it.

That's always a goal to keep on moving up," He explained. "I know there are guys ahead of me at my position and I know they're good players. Whatever happens - happens. I'm just hoping to keep on doing my best at this level and I know things will take care of themselves in time."


Pirates Dugout Top Stories