Yankees first base prospect Greg Bird was not on the original roster for the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game.
Yet, he not only was in the game, but carried off MVP honors after blasting a home run that observers noted was the longest ever hit in the contest, helping the East Division to a 6-2 win Saturday evening.
Bird finished the night 1-for-4 with a walk. He has a shot at an AFL Triple Crown as he’s hitting .342 with a league-leading six homers and 19 RBIs for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Likely set to start to 2015 at Double-A Trenton with fellow slugging prospect outfielder Aaron Judge, Bird has a simple goal for every game.
“I just want to play better today than I did yesterday,” he said. “Every chance I have to improve I go after. I have a lot of fun playing this game.”
He displays an advanced approach at the plate, and his power, after missing the early part of the 2014 season with a back injury, is developing. The at-bats in the AFL are needed to make up for the early time he missed in 2014
“The more at-bats I can get in Arizona, the better,” Bird said.
With Mark Teixeira’s contract expiring in 2016, it would not surprise if Bird starts 2016 with the Yankees and eventually succeeds him at first base.
“That’s the goal,” said Bird. “I hope I can achieve it.
With his solid defense at the position, that is indeed a possibility.