FORT MYERS, Fla. – After seeing five players selected in the top 16 rounds over the program’s first 10 years, FGCU saw its fifth player go in the 2013 MLB Draft on Saturday afternoon when junior left-hander Brandon Bixler (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) was selected in the 16th round by the Minnesota Twins with the 470th pick.
Bixler is the fifth junior from the 2013 FGCU roster to be selected, adding to the record already set for draft picks in a year for the Eagles. The 5-foot-10 lefty is the 17th player and the 12th pitcher in the program’s 11-year history to be drafted.
Over his three seasons in the green and blue, Bixler provided some electric starts en route to striking out 156 batters over 128.2 innings of work. As a sophomore in 2012, Bixler came one out away from tossing the first no-hitter in program history against Bryant, finishing with 12 strikeouts en route to being named one of the Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week.
The National Player of the Week honor wouldn’t be the last of the 2012 season for Bixler, as he came within one strikeout from 2010 MLB first round pick Chris Sale’s single-game program record with 14 punch outs over seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Kennesaw State. Louisville Slugger donned Bixler with his second National Player of the Week accolade following the outing while he was also named the A-Sun Player of the Week. Bixler finished his sophomore season with a 3-7 mark over 12 starts, going 59 innings with a career-best 70 strikeouts, while setting a program record with a .166 opponent batting average.
Bixler’s junior season began with six strikeouts over four scoreless innings in a limited started against St. John’s followed by five strong innings in a win at then-No. 13 Florida that completed a series sweep. He then followed with a season-high 11 strikeouts against Manhattan – his third career double-digit strikeout performance – over seven scoreless innings and went on to strikeout at least eight batters in four of his final eight starts. Bixler posted a 5-3 record with a 4.14 ERA, sitting down 64 batters in 50 innings.
Opposing batters produced a vulgar .201 average over Bixler’s 40 career appearances, including 28 starts. He owns a career record of 8-13 with a 5.67 ERA and has given up just 25 extra-base hits.
2013 FGCU MLB DRAFT PICKS
||Los Angeles Angels
||San Francisco Giants
||New Yorkl Mets
||Toronto Blue Jays