Bird In A Good Place Right Now

It's no secret to those that follow the Yankee farm system that first baseman Greg Bird has been and continues to be one of its rising star prospects. He's had two good seasons in a row, he followed it up with an MVP award in the Arizona Fall League this offseason, and he has been one of the real standouts in Spring Training camp thus far. He says he's in a good place right now.

He hit a combined .271 with 30 doubles and 14 home runs between high-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last year, and continued to get better as the season went on. He carried that momentum with him into the Arizona Fall League and wound up hitting .313 with six home runs and a .947 OPS for the Scottsdale Scorpions this offseason.

"It went good," Bird said of his 2014 season. "I started out slow but once I got going it was fine. I think I came a long way last year and then getting to go to the [Arizona] Fall League and keep working on stuff, it was a good year."

It wasn't just his offensive game that continued to blossom, however. He constantly worked on honing the other areas of his game in an effort to become a more complete ballplayer.

"Defense, that was just such a huge priority last year, and how to become more consistent at the plate too," he said. "But defensively, running the bases, just how to maintain that focus all around, those were areas I worked on."

The other big area that worked on was trying to find that balance of when to be patient at the plate and when to be more aggressive. It's been a main focal point in his development over the years and it appears he has learned to find that much needed balanced.

"Yeah I think I'm in a pretty good spot right now," he said confidently. "You've just got to keep learning. It's going to change based on pitcher and situations, stuff like that, but I feel like I'm in a good place."

Just like he did from the 2014 season into the Arizona Fall League, Bird carried over his strong AFL performance into another solid performance in big league Spring Training camp this year, hitting .353 in limited at-bats.

"It was awesome, a great experience," he said. "Just how those guys go about their business, they're just consistent and that's the difference. For me last year that was the priority and getting to see it first-hand is really cool."

He not only got to see the consistency first-hand but he arguably was one of the most consistent hitters in camp all spring. He leads the team in slugging [.706] in camp and he's opened up eyes not only inside the organization but outside it as well.

"Yeah, I wanted to go in and show what I had, and I think I did a good job of that. They were happy about it and it was great experience. I felt comfortable too so that's a start. It was good."

Not one who ever lacked confidence, his confidence does appear to be growing exponentially over the past calendar year. He looks like he belongs with the game's best hitters and he feels it too.

"I've always been confident I think. I think as you move up and as you see different things you're just more prepared and that's the key in baseball, to be prepared and be ready to go out there and have a quality at-bat, quality defense, quality base running everyday.

"That's the key and I feel like I've done a good job at that, and I'm going to keep getting better at it. Right now I'm in a good place," he concluded.


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