Greg Bird has been impressive early on in spring training, and many people around baseball are taking notice.
After missing the entire 2016 season due to a shoulder injury, nobody could predict what to expect from Bird heading into this season. Only a few weeks into camp, the 24-year-old has stood out this spring, as he works to put the questions about his health behind him.
In six Grapefruit League games, Bird is 6-13 with three home runs. Along with his hot start at the plate, Bird has been solid defensively, as the Yankees look to get him ready for opening day.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Bird is receiving rave reviews from MLB scouts and front offices around the league, including Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and former third baseman Aaron Boone.
Before making an appearance on SportsCenter on Thursday, Bowden had a conversation via text message with Cashman. Here’s Cashman’s response on what he’s seen from Bird so far this spring:
“Arm strength is back to where it was, if not better since his surgery. On offense showing good eye at plate. Shows power to pull side and opposite field. In a really good spot right now.”
Bowden calls Bird an early candidate for the ‘Comeback Player of the Year’ award. However, Bird is currently just trying to win the everyday first baseman job, and is definitely drawing some good attention early on.
If Bird can stay healthy, he’s showing that he can be a lethal force in the Yankees everyday lineup. With Mark Teixeira retiring last season, the Yankees are giving Bird every opportunity to take the position. Now, it is up to Bird to take advantage of the situation.
So far, Bird has risen to the challenge.