Pirates Prospect Interview: Brian Bixler

Brian Bixler

Shortstop Brian Bixler had a solid season last year at Triple A Indianapolis, where he hit .274 with five home runs and 51 RBI, plus 28 stolen bases. The 25-year old who is rated the Pirates' number four prospect by Scout.com - will probably start the season once again at Triple A Indianapolis. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Bixler recently.

GVB-- What was your off season like - You played with USA baseball - was that a good experience?

BB-- It was a good experience - it was a fun time. A very different culture - we went to Taiwan and it was a very good experience for a player like me, to be able to play with other guys from other organizations - it was a good experience and I had a great time.

GVB-- The competition had to be pretty good?

BB-- It was pretty good competition and it was something different that you would like to experience a couple of times in your career - it was cool.

GVB-- Your numbers were pretty good last season. You slowed down a little at the end of the season. How do you feel about the season you put together last year?

BB-- I thought I had a good season and I was happy with it. The last month or so wasn't as good as the first half of the year. That's just how it goes - fatigue could have played a part. When it happens I just keep working hard trying to get back at it. Overall I thought it was a good year.

GVB-- What are some of the areas that you are working on?

BB-- I'm always trying to get stronger and just trying to stay consistent. Always maintain consistency on defense working as a middle infielder. Work on the weaknesses of your game and just try to get better.

GVB-- Is your defense improving?

BB-- I've been working hard and have had a lot of help with some guys that I've been playing with. I'm learning as I go and just getting some games under my belt and each year I seem to be getting better at it. I'm pleased with the progress I'm making and hopefully it just continues.

GVB-- Another part of you game is the stolen base isn't it?

BB-- I try to use my speed to my advantage a little bit. Fortunately it's been working out for me and I try to utilize that whenever I can.

GVB-- What are your expectations this spring?

BB-- I'm really excited about this spring. I'm excited first of all to just get back at it and just play and keep on learning and getting better. I hope to do well enough to just keep opening some eyes. I'm confident that if I keep on working hard and playing as well as I can that thing will work out for me.

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