Quick Hit: Greg Bird Off To A Hot Start In The AZFL

The Arizona Fall League is a little over a week underway and so far it's been mostly uneventful for the Yankee reps.  Tyler Austin and Dante Bichette Jr. are both off to slow starts with the bat and Aaron Judge has only appeared in 3 games.  None of the 3 pitchers are doing anything special in their first few appearances. The one player who is making headlines is Greg Bird.  He's gotten the most burn out of the 4 position players, playing in 8 of the 9 games so far, and he's been a fixture hitting in prime middle-of-the-order spots and playing first base.  In 36 plate appearances, Bird has a .394/.444/.758 batting line with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 R scored, and 9 RBI.  His 25 total bases are almost double the next highest total on his team.

About the only thing Bird hasn't done well is limit his strikeouts.  He's K'd 10 times in his 36 plate appearances.  Doesn't sound like that's a huge problem though.  Keith Law mentioned Bird in his post earlier this week on early AZFL scouting reports, and praised Bird for his short, quick swing and "great" hand acceleration.  Law also noted that Bird struggles defensively at first base, but we already knew that.

While the sample size is very small and comes from a league that favors hitters, it is worth noting that Bird has been the standout hitter thus far in the entire league.  His 1.202 OPS is tops among hitters with more than 20 at-bats.  He hasn't stopped hitting since he was drafted and that's good news for the Yankees given their problems at first base.