The fun sub-plot of many top prospects performing well in their limited ST opportunities was touched on last week. A handful of those top prospects, including top top prospects Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, were sent down yesterday as part of the first round of roster cuts, but not included in that handful was Greg Bird. Bird has been the best and most eye-opening of all the Yankee prospects this spring, and for him the plot is rapidly shifting from "fun ST sneak peek" to "legitimate part of the Yankees' future plans."
Here's what Bird has done in the last couple weeks. He's hit .385/.467/.846 in 13 ST plate appearances, the SLG rate best on the team. He's made a few nice plays with the glove to go with his stellar offensive production. He's drawn rave reviews from high-ranking people inside and outside the Yankee system, including Cash and new hitting coach Jeff Pentland. He caught the eye of Alex Rodriguez, who spoke to Bird in 2013 when he was on his MiL rehab tour and offered up this glowing compliment of Bird's hitting skills:
“I've seen enough baseball that you see a guy in a uniform and you see the way it comes off his bat, you can tell."
Say what you want about A-Rod as a person, but as a guy who understands the game of baseball he's second to none. For him to say that suggests that Bird isn't just your everyday "top" hitting prospect but a potential star in the making and potential future cornerstone of the Yankee team going forward. All of this spring hoopla comes on the heels of Bird mashing in the AZFL and winning the MVP of that league, which came on the heels of him absolutely raking for the better part of the last 2 seasons.
Greg Bird isn't just making a name for himself with what he's doing. He's creating his own legend. He can hit for average, he can hit for power, he knows the strike zone and knows how to work walks, and he's shown that he's not a complete stiff with the glove at first base. There isn't a person in the baseball industry who does't have something extremely positive to say about him. It's Greg Bird's world right now. We're just living in it.