This season has been one of bad news followed by bad news for the New York Yankees. Not only have injuries taken their toll at the Major League level but they have hit the lower levels hard as well. To compound the problems several big prospects have struggled in the first half of the season. However, there have been some bright spots and first baseman Greg Bird’s performance at Low-A Charleston has been one of them.
Bird, 20, was the Yankees fifth round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado. Bird’s pro career got off to a slow start thanks to injuries and he only appeared in 28 games with the Staten Island Yankees and Gulf Coast Yankees last season. Still, Bird showed some promise with the bat as he hit .337/.450/.494 in 109 plate appearances and racked up two homers, 13 RBI, six doubles and triple while walking 17 times and striking out 23 times.
Bird uses a very easy swing and keeps the barrel of the bat in a zone for a long time. His hit tool is why the Yankees drafted him and he looks like he is finally realizing that potential. His power should only continue to develop and he has some room to add to his 6-foot-3 215 pound frame.
This year, Bird has been one of the bright spots in the Yankees system hitting .298/.419/.488 with seven home runs, 23 doubles and 46 RBI with 51 walks and 74 strikeouts in 252 at-bats through June 26th. In his last 10 games Bird has raked to the tune of .487/.565/.795 with two home runs, 18 RBI and six doubles. He has recorded at least one hit in every one of those 10 games and has compiled six multi-hit games in that span.
While Bird has been exciting own at Charleston he has not been without his struggles. Bird, like many left-handed hitters, has struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting only .236/.311/.418 with three homers and nine RBI in 55 at-bats.
Bird is still a few years away from even sniffing the Major Leagues but he has shown a lot of promise and should earn a promotion to Single-A Tampa soon where he should start the year next year before earning a promotion to Double-A Trenton. Right now it looks like Bird should crack the Yankees’ Top 10 Prospect list heading into next season or at least come very close to it.