Q&A with Yankees' 5th Round Pick Greg Bird

The Yankees selected catcher Greg Bird in the fifth round out of Grandview High School in Colorado. He sat down with us for a Q&A session to talk about being drafted by the Yankees, which big league player he most resembles, if he's looking to sign quickly, and a whole lot more.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the New York Yankees?

Bird: There's still a long way up with the signability thing and working my way up through the minor leagues, but with an organization like that with so much history and class it's really an honor. It's a privilege to be drafted by them so it's awesome.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us a little about your game. What type of player are you and where do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?

Bird: Honestly, that's for them to decide I guess. But I hit for some power, I guess middle of the lineup because I can drive in runs. I catch and play first, that's kind of for them to decide. But like I said, offensively, power hitter, hit to drive in runs, I like to think of myself hitting for average, I have a good eye.

PinstripesPlus.com: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Bird: Strengths, as far as hitting goes, I always see myself as a disciplined hitter and I like to pride myself on being able to hit to the opposite field. As far as weaknesses, I think there are always weaknesses that I'm working on. As far as hitting goes, I think that you can always get better at hitting by just working hard, working on your swing, working on the muscle memory, just the day-in and day-out grind of playing baseball. As far as physical strength and conditioning goes, there's always room to improve. There are just so many aspects of the game to improve on. Defensively, I catch and play first and there's always, always stuff to work on.

PinstripesPlus.com: Could you tell us about your defensive game? Do you prefer to catch or play first?

Bird: I don't have a preference. I enjoy both a lot. I always say about catching that it's a lot of fun just because you're in on every single pitch, so it's like a strategic thing as far as catching goes. Firs base is fine too. People always think that first base is just catching the ball, but there's a lot more that goes into it than just catching at first base. Either one is fine by me, I enjoy them both.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare yourself to at the major league level so the Yankees fans have an idea of what your game is like?

Bird: That's a tough one. I'd say, if I catch, more of a Joe Mauer type player and if I play first probably Adrian Gonzalez because both of those guys also pride themselves on hitting the ball to the opposite side of the field and staying inside the ball as far as hitting goes, and that's what I always try to tell myself to do is stay inside the ball and try to hit the ball left-centerfield so I would say one of those guys.

PinstripesPlus.com: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised when they selected you?

Bird: I mean, you really have no idea. The Yankees did show interest, there were always Yankees guys coming out to the games in spring. So there was definitely interest, but as far as the draft goes it's more of you have to wait and see so we did and it turned out to be them.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you see yourself staying at catcher or first base or do you think you'll be moved to another position?

Bird: I think there's more of a possibility that I'll end up at one of those. I mean I guess another position would be third base; I've played third before even though I didn't end up there. I would say catcher or first is more likely.

PinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Bird: That's a tough one, but I would say last summer at the Under Armor game just because it was played on Wrigley Field and the history that goes with playing at Wrigley Field. Just knowing that you're on the same field as Babe Ruth has played on and just all the great players, since it's so old, seem to have played there; just sharing that and realizing that, hey, I'm on the same field as them. That was awesome. That was truly a great experience.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who were your favorite team and player growing up?

Bird: When I was younger I really liked the Cardinals and I liked Mark McGwire a lot. I just liked watching him hit homeruns. So yeah, it's always been the Cardinals and now I like watching a variety of different people. The Cardinals have kind of always been my favorite team, but I don't really have one specific favorite player anymore.

PinstripesPlus.com: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Yankees? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?

Bird: Honestly, just time will tell. We haven't talked much with them yet. I think just with the draft and them being so busy, I will hear more later this week or so. I don't know, I think it'll be going through the summer and seeing what happens. You know, I'm in a win-win situation; if I started I'd play professional baseball which is and always has been my dream and if not, I go to Arkansas. I mean, they're two good decisions, two good options, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the New York Yankees?
\r\n
\r\nBird: There's still a long way up with the signability thing and working my way up through the minor leagues, but with an organization like that with so much history and class it's really an honor. It's a privilege to be drafted by them so it's awesome.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tell us a little about your game. What type of player are you and where do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?
\r\n
\r\nBird: Honestly, that's for them to decide I guess. But I hit for some power, I guess middle of the lineup because I can drive in runs. I catch and play first, that's kind of for them to decide. But like I said, offensively, power hitter, hit to drive in runs, I like to think of myself hitting for average, I have a good eye.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
\r\n
\r\nBird: Strengths, as far as hitting goes, I always see myself as a disciplined hitter and I like to pride myself on being able to hit to the opposite field. As far as weaknesses, I think there are always weaknesses that I'm working on. As far as hitting goes, I think that you can always get better at hitting by just working hard, working on your swing, working on the muscle memory, just the day-in and day-out grind of playing baseball. As far as physical strength and conditioning goes, there's always room to improve. There are just so many aspects of the game to improve on. Defensively, I catch and play first and there's always, always stuff to work on.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Could you tell us about your defensive game? Do you prefer to catch or play first?
\r\n
\r\nBird: I don't have a preference. I enjoy both a lot. I always say about catching that it's a lot of fun just because you're in on every single pitch, so it's like a strategic thing as far as catching goes. Firs base is fine too. People always think that first base is just catching the ball, but there's a lot more that goes into it than just catching at first base. Either one is fine by me, I enjoy them both.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare yourself to at the major league level so the Yankees fans have an idea of what your game is like?
\r\n
\r\nBird: That's a tough one. I'd say, if I catch, more of a Joe Mauer type player and if I play first probably Adrian Gonzalez because both of those guys also pride themselves on hitting the ball to the opposite side of the field and staying inside the ball as far as hitting goes, and that's what I always try to tell myself to do is stay inside the ball and try to hit the ball left-centerfield so I would say one of those guys.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised when they selected you?
\r\n
\r\nBird: I mean, you really have no idea. The Yankees did show interest, there were always Yankees guys coming out to the games in spring. So there was definitely interest, but as far as the draft goes it's more of you have to wait and see so we did and it turned out to be them.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Do you see yourself staying at catcher or first base or do you think you'll be moved to another position?
\r\n
\r\nBird: I think there's more of a possibility that I'll end up at one of those. I mean I guess another position would be third base; I've played third before even though I didn't end up there. I would say catcher or first is more likely.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
\r\n
\r\nBird: That's a tough one, but I would say last summer at the Under Armor game just because it was played on Wrigley Field and the history that goes with playing at Wrigley Field. Just knowing that you're on the same field as Babe Ruth has played on and just all the great players, since it's so old, seem to have played there; just sharing that and realizing that, hey, I'm on the same field as them. That was awesome. That was truly a great experience.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Who were your favorite team and player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nBird: When I was younger I really liked the Cardinals and I liked Mark McGwire a lot. I just liked watching him hit homeruns. So yeah, it's always been the Cardinals and now I like watching a variety of different people. The Cardinals have kind of always been my favorite team, but I don't really have one specific favorite player anymore.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Yankees? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
\r\n
\r\nBird: Honestly, just time will tell. We haven't talked much with them yet. I think just with the draft and them being so busy, I will hear more later this week or so. I don't know, I think it'll be going through the summer and seeing what happens. You know, I'm in a win-win situation; if I started I'd play professional baseball which is and always has been my dream and if not, I go to Arkansas. I mean, they're two good decisions, two good options, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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