MAC Baseball Alums: Eastern Michigan

Brian Bixler is playing for his fifth major league team, trying to get called up for his fourth big league career. - USA TODAY Sports

Only two former Eagles are currently in the minor league system, but they do have the MAC's only active Major League Baseball manager.

It's been a while since 1976, the halcyon days of EMU baseball when they reached the World Series on the arms of The Bobs. Bob Owchinko was considered their top pitcher, and by virtue of being the fifth overall pick by the Padres in '76, you can see why. But Bob Welch clearly had the better career, winning a Cy Young in 1990 thanks to a 27-6 record. There was also Chris Hoiles, a productive catcher for the Orioles back in the 1990s.

And although the paucity of EMU in the majors from a major league roster is a little sad, they do boast the lone MAC manager: Terry Collins, now in his third year managing the New York Mets, played for Eastern from 1968-71 and was the starting shortstop on their 1970 NAIA championship team.

In fairness, they did have a draftee last year: pitcher Steve Weber was taken by the Marlins in the 33rd round but he opted to return to EMU for his senior season. Sadly he's also out for the entire season with an injury. Maybe next year.

Eastern Michigan Eagles draft history at Baseball-Reference
Last MLB Player: Brian Bixler, 2012, Astros
P Name Drafted 2012 Team 2013 Team Comments
2B/SS Brian Bixler 2004, 2nd rd Houston Astros Mets Triple-A Las Vegas 51's On his fourth trip to the big leagues with three different major league teams, Bixler finally hit his first career home runs with the Astros last year, but spent most of his time in Triple-A. He's still hangin' on at age 30 and now with his fifth MLB team, and inside an organization with much youth, you may see him get called up with the Mets this year, although their middle infield is more crowded with talent than other spots.
RHP Jordan Goldschmidt N/A Ind. League Rockford RiverHawks ? Goldschmidt was released by the RiverHawks (now the Aviators) last month.
1B/3B Ben Magsig N/A Ind. League London Rippers ? After the Rippers folded, Magsig was declared a free agent.
RHP Matt Shoemaker Undrafted FA Angels Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees Same Per the Bees' announcement of their 2013 roster, Shoemaker has pitched more minor league innings in the last two years than anyone else. Well, at least he's getting playing time. His numbers took a hit once he was promoted to Triple-A so it's gonna be tough to get over that last minor league hurdle and into the Angels pitching staff.
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