Bird Finding The Perfect Balance

CHARLESTON, SC — In his first full season of a professional baseball Greg Bird has experienced his share of successes. The left-handed hitter sees no reason to change what is working. The 20-year old is being more aggressive at the plate.

So far this season in Charleston, first baseman Greg Bird has documented a hitting average of .283 and 18 RBI. This is Bird's first year playing the position of first base and he seems to be performing well.

"It's been going great, we have been winning lately which has been nice," Bird commented. "I've been playing both patient and aggressive, that is my thing.

"But I think I have been trying to get fastballs more. I haven't been as passive on them, I am going for the fastball instead of trying to get the perfect pitch."

The Colorado native was selected by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado.

In 2012, Bird spent eleven games with the Staten Island Yankees where he had a batting average of .400 and 8 RBI.

This is Bird's first season with the RiverDogs and according to the left-handed hitter he is continuing to use his same approach at the plate. Although Bird has only hit one home run this season, he is optimistic about his presence at the plate.

"I am just going to keep doing what I've been doing," remarked the 215-pounder. "I am sticking with my approach because it has been working."

Bird recognizes that he can be more aggressive earlier in counts. He is persistent and confident with his same approach he has been using all season, but always knows he can get better.

"There is always room for improvement," said the 6-foot-3 lefty. "But again I just need to keep doing what I've been doing and stick with my approach."

First year manager Al Pedrique is impressed with Bird's approach at the plate this season. Pedrique has also been pleased with Bird performance in playing a new position for the first time.

"His progress has been where we have wanted it to be," Pedrique stated. "For a guy that has been playing first base for the first time, I feel like he's done a good job."

Pedrique acknowledges Bird's inexperience as a player and does not believe he has been too patient and should be more aggressive with his approach.

"No, I think that he is fine," expressed the RiverDogs manager. "It is only a matter of time for him to expand the strike zone. A young hitter like Greg, you don't want to put too much stuff in his head and change his approach.

"I really like his approach," Pedrique continued. "Greg uses the whole field and is very patient at the plate, and I'd rather see that because I know that he is a smart hitter."

Bird has also received a lot of advice on his approach from RiverDogs hitting coach P.J. Pilittere.

"I think he is doing a great job," Pilittere stated. "He is staying within himself and he swings at good pitches which makes him a good hitter.

"That strike zone discipline he has is something we think we can teach guys, but it is really hard to teach," Pilittere commented. "That is a tool and asset that Bird has."

As the RiverDogs' season progresses, Bird has become well known for his eye for the strike zone. Pilittere admits that Bird sometimes has a better idea of the strike zone than some of the umpires.

"If Birdy doesn't swing, it is not a strike," Pilittere remarked. "He has a really good feel for the strike zone and always gives himself a change up there."

According to his coaches, Bird seems to be using the right amount of patience and assertiveness at the plate. This is something that will help him perform better when it comes to future games. By being confident in his presence at the plate, Bird can only increase his hopes to advance in the Yankees' organization.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nSo far this season in Charleston, first baseman Greg Bird has documented a hitting average of .283 and 18 RBI. This is Bird's first year playing the position of first base and he seems to be performing well.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been going great, we have been winning lately which has been nice,\" Bird commented. \"I've been playing both patient and aggressive, that is my thing.
\r\n
\r\n\"But I think I have been trying to get fastballs more. I haven't been as passive on them, I am going for the fastball instead of trying to get the perfect pitch.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe Colorado native was selected by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado.
\r\n
\r\nIn 2012, Bird spent eleven games with the Staten Island Yankees where he had a batting average of .400 and 8 RBI.
\r\n
\r\nThis is Bird's first season with the RiverDogs and according to the left-handed hitter he is continuing to use his same approach at the plate. Although Bird has only hit one home run this season, he is optimistic about his presence at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I am just going to keep doing what I've been doing,\" remarked the 215-pounder. \"I am sticking with my approach because it has been working.\"
\r\n
\r\nBird recognizes that he can be more aggressive earlier in counts. He is persistent and confident with his same approach he has been using all season, but always knows he can get better.
\r\n
\r\n\"There is always room for improvement,\" said the 6-foot-3 lefty. \"But again I just need to keep doing what I've been doing and stick with my approach.\"
\r\n
\r\nFirst year manager Al Pedrique is impressed with Bird's approach at the plate this season. Pedrique has also been pleased with Bird performance in playing a new position for the first time.
\r\n
\r\n\"His progress has been where we have wanted it to be,\" Pedrique stated. \"For a guy that has been playing first base for the first time, I feel like he's done a good job.\"
\r\n
\r\nPedrique acknowledges Bird's inexperience as a player and does not believe he has been too patient and should be more aggressive with his approach.
\r\n
\r\n\"No, I think that he is fine,\" expressed the RiverDogs manager. \"It is only a matter of time for him to expand the strike zone. A young hitter like Greg, you don't want to put too much stuff in his head and change his approach.
\r\n
\r\n\"I really like his approach,\" Pedrique continued. \"Greg uses the whole field and is very patient at the plate, and I'd rather see that because I know that he is a smart hitter.\"
\r\n
\r\nBird has also received a lot of advice on his approach from RiverDogs hitting coach P.J. Pilittere.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he is doing a great job,\" Pilittere stated. \"He is staying within himself and he swings at good pitches which makes him a good hitter.
\r\n
\r\n\"That strike zone discipline he has is something we think we can teach guys, but it is really hard to teach,\" Pilittere commented. \"That is a tool and asset that Bird has.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs the RiverDogs' season progresses, Bird has become well known for his eye for the strike zone. Pilittere admits that Bird sometimes has a better idea of the strike zone than some of the umpires.
\r\n
\r\n\"If Birdy doesn't swing, it is not a strike,\" Pilittere remarked. \"He has a really good feel for the strike zone and always gives himself a change up there.\"
\r\n
\r\nAccording to his coaches, Bird seems to be using the right amount of patience and assertiveness at the plate. This is something that will help him perform better when it comes to future games. By being confident in his presence at the plate, Bird can only increase his hopes to advance in the Yankees' organization.
\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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