A promising rookie campaign in 2015 put Bird in a position to be groomed as the next Yankees first basemen. The stellar numbers included a .261 average and 11 home runs, all in 157 at-bats. However, a shoulder injury this year caused him to miss the entire 2016 season due to surgery.
Now, he is impressing once again in the fall league. In 13 at-bats, Bird is hitting .308 with an on-base percentage of .357. He has spent most of his time at DH, but is slowly making the return back to first. In the first four games, he has three doubles and two RBI.
Bird in in position to take the reins at first base long-term in New York, and a strong showcase in the fall returning from injury adds to his case.
Much has been said about the former Chicago Cubs mega prospect acquired for Aroldis Chapman by the Yankees before the deadline. And it is all positive. Torres is ranked as the Yankees number two prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and had the game-winning hit in the Scottsdale Scorpions 8-7 victory over the Glendale Desert Dogs on Friday.
The praise continues to build for Torres, who is batting .250 this fall in 12 at-bats. ESPN’s Keith Law did not hold back on his feelings on Torres, tweeting “Gleyber is going to be a star. Be excited.”
After arm issues cut his 2016 season short, the right-handed pitcher is back, showing the fall league what he is capable of. In three innings, the UCLA product struck out six batters and allowed one hit.
It was thought Kaprielian would not pitch in the fall league because of the need to rest his elbow, but he came through the instructional league without a problem. Now he has the green light to pitch and get back to form.
Other Yankees in the AFL:
Recently acquired Dillon Tate from the Rangers in the Carlos Beltran deal is also receiving innings in the AFL. Tate has allowed three runs on four hits in one inning. J.P. Feyereisen tossed an inning, but blew the save after walking three and allowing two earned saves. However, he did earn the victory.
Miguel Andujar is a prospect in the organization to keep a close eye on. The 21-year-old first basemen is batting .400 with a triple and three runs scored thus far. The Yankees signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, and is hitting his way through the minors.
Shortstop Tyler Wade has yet to find his footing under him in the fall league, batting 0-8 in the limited time he has seen action. He is moving all around the field, showing versatility.
A 17th-round pick in 2015, Brody Koerner is not the household prospect name, but with a chance in the fall he could shine. The Clemson draftee pitched to a 1.85 ERA this past year in the minors, and has seen limited time in the Arizona Fall League.
This is when players get to show off their skills before spring training and make a run at a roster spot. Torres and Bird are the big names, but don’t be surprised if others make an impact and climb the ladder in the organization.