Friday, August 14, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Greg Bird

The New York Yankees designated their only true backup first base option this week when they gave Garrett Jones his walking papers thus leaving Mark Teixeira without a backup. The Yankees have used Brian McCann, Brendan Ryan, Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez at the position over the past two seasons but New York and their GM Brian Cashman decided to bring in a true backup first baseman for this 16 games in 16 days swing the Yankees are currently in the middle of, enter Greg Bird.

Gregory Paul Bird was born on November 9, 1992 and attended High School at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado where he was named the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year as a senior. Bird’s time as a High School player garnered the attention of the New York Yankees who came calling in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft with their fifth round pick. Bird was committed to the University of Arkansas as a catcher but the Yankees were able to talk him into foregoing his commitment with a hefty signing bonus.

Bird only got into four games in 2011 before suffering from an injury riddled season in 2012 where he was limited to just 28 games. Bird did finish slashing .337/.450/.494 with two home runs which was enough to garner a promotion to the Tampa Yankees in 2013 but the back injury that cost him much of his season is still a concern to this day. Bird looked healthy in 2013 though as he went on to hit .288/.428/.511 with 20 home runs while also leading minor league baseball with 107 walks. Bird won the Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees Minor League Player of the Year with his impressive season, a season to build on for 2014.

Bird repeated the 2014 season with the Tampa Yankees before earning a promotion to the Trenton Thunder. Bird hit a combined 14 home runs in 2014 before the Yankees sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he hit a 450-foot home run in the AFL Fall Stars Game. Bird led the AFL with six home runs and was named the AFL Most Valuable Player before earning a promotion to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders in 2015. Bird has continued to hit and is now officially a member of the New York Yankees, welcome to the family Bird. Bird is the word!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)