Yankees’ Bird wise beyond his years

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As he waited to go on MLB TV for an interview during the Arizona Fall League championship game
last weekend, Greg Bird, the league’s MVP, got stuck sitting next to me in the press box.

We struck up a conversation. I asked him what he had been trying to accomplish during the Fall
League.

“Everything,’’ he said. “People ask me about that all the time. I’m working on getting better at
everything. There are a lot of little things you can do that help you win.”

My ears perked up.

Bird, a first baseman in the Yankees organization, went on to talk— unprompted — about how the
finer points, throwing to the right base, not giving up outs and bases, and working deep into counts
help you win.

The kid will be 22 next season.  He gets it.

Last season at High A Tampa and AA Trenton, Bird combined for a .271 batting average, .367 on-
base percentage and slugged .472 with 14 homers.

In the Fall League, he posted a .313/.391/556 line.  He hit a monster homer to center field in the
Fall Star Game and was MVP of the game.

He is a bright prospect, but not the brightest. While he has promise, his numbers indicate he is
unlikely to be the next Miguel Cabrera.

But Bird will play the game the right way — and that will make him better than just  his numbers.