Greg Bird (baseball)

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Greg Bird
Greg Bird in 2017 (36198285674).jpg
Bird with the New York Yankees in 2017
New York Yankees – No. 33
First baseman
Born: (1992-11-09) November 9, 1992 (age 26)
Memphis, Tennessee
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 13, 2015, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
(through April 1, 2019)
Batting average.213
Home runs32
Run batted in98
Teams

Gregory Paul Bird (born November 9, 1992) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut on August 13, 2015.

Amateur career[edit]

Bird attended Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado, where he played for the baseball team as a catcher and formed a battery with pitcher Kevin Gausman. Bird was named the Colorado Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year as a senior.[1][2][3] He committed to attend the University of Arkansas to play college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

Bird was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.[5] Bird signed with the Yankees, receiving a $1.1 million signing bonus and bypassing his commitment to Arkansas.[4] He was drafted as a catcher but was moved to first base.[6]

Bird made his professional debut for the Gulf Coast Yankees in 2011. He finished the season playing in four games, going 1 for 12. In 2012, he played in only 28 games due to injuries. He finished the season hitting .337/.450/.494 with two home runs. Bird started the 2013 season with the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League.[7] He finished the season, hitting .288/.428/.511 with 20 home runs and a minor league leading 107 walks. He won the Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees Minor League Player of the Year.[8][9]

In 2014, Bird began the season with the Tampa Yankees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League, where he batted .277 with seven home runs and 32 runs batted in before he was promoted tor the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League,[10] where he batted for a .253/.379/.558 triple slash to go along with 7 homers and 11 RBI to create a full season equaling .271/.376/.472 slash line, 14 homers, and 43 RBI in 102 games.[11] After the season, the Yankees assigned Bird to the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League (AFL). He hit a 450-foot (140 m) home run during the AFL Fall Stars Game. Bird led the AFL with six home runs was named the AFL Most Valuable Player.[12]

Bird started the 2015 season with Double-A Trenton and was promoted to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the Class AAA International League during the season.[13] In May, he experienced a shoulder injury.[14]

New York Yankees[edit]

2015: Rookie season[edit]

Bird batting for the Yankees in 2015

On August 13, 2015, the Yankees announced that they would promote Bird to the major leagues, serving as a backup to Mark Teixeira at first base and Alex Rodriguez at designated hitter.[13] He made his major league debut that night, going 0-for-5.[15] He collected his first hit on August 15, a single off of Toronto Blue Jays reliever LaTroy Hawkins.[16] Teixeira injured his leg during a hit-by-pitch on August 17, which was later diagnosed as a season-ending shin fracture. As a result, Bird became the Yankees' starting first baseman for the rest of 2015.[17]

On August 19, Bird hit his first two MLB home runs off of Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana.[18] On September 7, Bird hit a go-ahead three-run home run in a game against the Baltimore Orioles.[19] On September 22, Bird hit a game winning three-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the top of the tenth inning. He finished the season with a .261 batting average and a .343 on-base percentage. In 46 games and 157 at-bats, Bird hit 11 home runs with 31 RBIs.[20]

2016[edit]

Bird suffered a recurrence of his right shoulder injury during the 2015-16 offseason, which was diagnosed as a torn labrum. Bird underwent successful surgery, and was ruled out for the entire 2016 MLB season. After not playing during the regular season, Bird recovered from his shoulder injury in time to be assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League in October 2016.[21]

2017[edit]

In spring training, Bird showed a full recovery from his season-ending shoulder surgery, hitting eight home runs, tied for the most with Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. He also led the league in extra-base hits (16), on-base percentage (.556), slugging percentage (1.098) and OPS (1.654).[citation needed] During an exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves, Bird hit the first home run in SunTrust Park.[22]

On May 2, Bird was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a bruised right ankle. His performance was hampered due to an injury he sustained after fouling a ball of his foot at the end of Spring Training, batting .100 in 19 games.[23] In July, Bird was diagnosed with an injury to the os trigonum in his right foot; he would have surgery to remove the bone.[24] On August 26, Bird was activated of the 60-day DL after missing 103 games and went 1-for-2 with two walks in a game that afternoon. Since his return from injury, Bird batted .253 and hit 8 home runs. In 48 games played in 2017, Bird batted .190 with 9 home runs and 28 RBI.

In Game 3 of the ALDS, Bird hit a solo home run off of Cleveland Indians reliever and former Yankee Andrew Miller, only the second home run Miller had allowed on a fastball to a lefty in the last three seasons.[25] It was the only run scored in the game as the Yankees won 1–0. Bird served as the final out in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, flying out to center to eliminate the Yankees from World Series contention.[26] In the postseason, Bird slashed .244/.426/.512 with three home runs and 6 RBIs; he was also thrown out at home plate twice.[27]

2018[edit]

On March 26, 2018, it was revealed that Bird would undergo ankle surgery, ruling him out for six to eight weeks.[28] He underwent successful surgery the next day on March 27, and it was revealed to be a small bone spur. A coin-sized calcium deposit was also removed from the ankle, and this was the second time Bird had the surgery since a problematic separate bone was removed from the ankle the previous summer.[29] Bird returned from his ankle surgery on May 26, 2018. Bird struggled in 2018 batting .199/.286/.386 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs and lost his starting job to Luke Voit late in the season.

Personal life[edit]

Bird was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His family moved to Colorado when he was 10 years old.[30][31] He has a hairless cat that is related to the cat that portrayed Mr. Bigglesworth in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grandview's Bird gets state's Gatorade baseball honor". The Denver Post. June 1, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  2. ^ Frei, Terry. "Grandview's Greg Bird awaits MLB draft, braces for decision". The Denver Post. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "Baseball: Gatorade tabs Grandview's Bird player of year". Aurora Sentinel. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Grandview's Greg Bird signs with Yankees for $1.1 million". The Denver Post. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Ryan CaseyThe Denver Post. "Grandview's Greg Bird drafted by Yankees in fifth round". The Denver Post. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Charleston RiverDogs first baseman Greg Bird 'mature beyond his years'". Postandcourier.com. June 26, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  7. ^ "Yankees farmhand Greg Bird has command of the strike zone". Newsday. August 17, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  8. ^ "Yankees name INF Greg Bird and RHP Shane Greene winners of the 2013 Kevin Lawn 'Player of the Year' and "Pitcher of the Year" Awards". New York Yankees. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  9. ^ "Yankees spring training: Greg Bird, Shane Greene 2013 minor league players of the year". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  10. ^ "Thunder hoping Bird can produce same spark as departed OBrien". The Trentonian. August 5, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  11. ^ "Gregory Bird Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "Yankees' Bird named Arizona Fall League MVP". New York Yankees. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Yankees to call up top prospect Greg Bird". New York Post. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  14. ^ "New York Yankees 1B Greg Bird suffers shoulder injury, to miss season". ESPN. February 4, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  15. ^ "Yankees notes: Greg Bird makes big-league debut". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  16. ^ "WATCH: Greg Bird, former Grandview star, gets 1st MLB hit". On the Rox. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  17. ^ Martin, Daniel. "Mark Teixeira done for 2015 after MRI reveals leg fracture". New York Post. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  18. ^ Kernan, Kevin (August 20, 2015). "Homers not only reason Yankees drooling over Bird's potential". New York Post. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  19. ^ SETH BERKMAN (September 7, 2015). "Greg Bird's Walk Aids Yankees, and His Homer Wins Game". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  20. ^ "Gregory Bird » Statistics » Batting | FanGraphs Baseball". www.fangraphs.com. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  21. ^ Miller, Randy. "19 shares Yankees' Greg Bird has 'awesome' time in Fall League opener, but still not 100 percent". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  22. ^ "WATCH: SunTrust Park's first home runs come from Greg Bird, Freddie Freeman". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  23. ^ Macklin, Oliver. "Greg Bird goes on DL". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  24. ^ http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/07/18/greg-bird-yankees-ankle-surgery
  25. ^ "Indians-Yankees ALDS Game 3: The Greg Bird home run that was the difference". CBSSports.com. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  26. ^ Witz, Billy (October 21, 2017). "Astros Move On to World Series as the Yankees Run Out of Gas". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  27. ^ "Greg Bird". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  28. ^ "Greg Bird to have ankle surgery, out 6-8 weeks". MLB. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  29. ^ "Greg Bird undergoes ankle surgery to remove broken spur". ESPN. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  30. ^ "BBDP Exclusive Interview with Greg Bird - Bronx Baseball Daily". bronxbaseballdaily.com. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  31. ^ "Yankees potential future 1B hitting moonshots in desert". New York Post. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  32. ^ Mazzeo, Mike (March 21, 2017). "Yankees' Greg Bird claims his hairless cat is related to Mr. Bigglesworth from Austin Powers". Daily News. New York. Retrieved March 21, 2017.

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