BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Former Birmingham-Southern College Panther and 2012 ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com National Player of the Year Bruce Maxwell, made his Major League Baseball debut on Saturday, July 23 for the Oakland Athletics. Maxwell was called up from Pacific Coast League Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds and pinch hit Saturday, before starting Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
He is expected make an appearance on the road in the A's series against the Texas Rangers July 25-27.
"I'm extremely happy for Bruce," said BSC Baseball Head Coach Jan Weisberg. "He has worked extremely hard for this opportunity. He will always be a great rep for BSC."
The 6-1, 250-pound catcher is the second Panther to make it to the Bigs. Connor Robertson, also drafted by the A's, was called up in 2007. As the second draft pick of the second round in 2012, Maxwell was selected 62nd overall and is BSC's highest pick in program history. At the time, he was the highest NCAA Division III pick since Cal Lutheran's Justin Hirsh in 2003.
"He plays hard, he has fun, and he's making the most of his abilities," added Weisberg. "He's really matured the last two years and physically in the best shape of his life. He's ready for this step."
Maxwell has been shining this season, earning PCL Player of the Week honors for play July 11-17. This was his first player of the week nod, but he has been named a Mid-Season All-Star in his career. First with the Class-A Beloit Snappers (2013), and then with the Class-A Advanced Stockton Ports (2014). The lefty batter appeared in 60 games for Nashville, hitting .321 with a .539 slugging percentage. He amassed 104 total bases (third best in league), 10 homeruns, 12 doubles, 62 hits, and 41 RBI.
In 2012, Maxwell helped lead Birmingham-Southern to a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title and appearance in the NCAA Central Region championship game. He was named SCAC Offensive Player of the Year and D3baseball.com South Region Player of the Year, as well as, D3baseball.com First-Team All-America and All-South, SCAC First Team and All-Tournament, and BSC Male Athlete of the Year.
There have been 32 first-year draftees from Birmingham-Southern and three since moving to Division III. Drew Leachman was the first in 2011 when he was selected by Minnesota in the 37th round. Miles Nordgren was the last Panther drafted, also taken by the Twins, in the 23rd round in 2014. Nordgren is still active within the Twins organization on the Class-A Advanced Fort Myers Miracle.