OKC RedHawks: Brian Bixler is a jack-of-all-trades on defense -- and he has a hot bat, too.

Astros might have plucked a diamond in the rough off waiver wire. Hawks manager Tony DeFrancesco said Bixler is the type of player who is very valuable late in games.
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 26, 2012

Brian Bixler certainly has made an impact since arriving in Oklahoma City.

Since joining the RedHawks on April 13, Bixler has been swinging a hot bat and started at five different positions in the field.

After Thursday night's 11-5 rout of Round Rock at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Bixler was leading the Pacific Coast League with a .423 average and 22 hits, even though he played the first six games of the season for the Houston Astros while shortstop Jed Lowrie was on the disabled list.

Bixler was assigned to Oklahoma City when Lowrie was activated, and the former Pittsburgh Pirate and Washington National certainly didn't hang his about the demotion.

“Brian Bixler has been outstanding,” RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “For a guy to come down and play with the intensity, he has six stolen bases already. I think he is another guy that has a good plan and a bright future.”

The Astros claimed Bixler off waivers from the Nationals in November. Bixler has played 152 games in the major leagues where he has been used mostly as a utility player.

Already for the RedHawks, he has started at shortstop, second base, third base, left field and center field. DeFrancesco said he is confident playing Bixler at every day-to-day position except catcher.

“These super utility guys in the National League seem to keep bouncing around,” DeFrancesco said. “They are very valuable late in games. They win ball games for you.

“There is nothing to say (Bixler) shouldn't be a starting infielder somewhere. Right now, maybe his role is that super utility guy. If there is a need, he is going to be the first guy called up for that role.”

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