Yankees reject finds new life, lights up Australian league

Ex-Yankees top prospect Greg Bird

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Remember Greg Bird, the once highly-touted Yankees prospect plagued by injuries? While he hasn’t graced a Major League plate since 2019, a different Greg Bird is now spreading its wings across the globe. This season, he exchanged pinstripes for the Australian Baseball League’s sunshine and is witnessing a power surge.

Setting aside any spring training struggles, Greg Bird’s escapade with the Melbourne Aces has turned into a home run extravaganza. In just 25 games, the left-handed slugger tops the league charts with seven homers, swinging his bat to the tune of a .282 average, .386 on-base percentage, and a scorching .553 slugging percentage.

Greg Bird’s journey Down Under isn’t just about avoiding the Bronx weather. An October statement from the Aces speaks volumes about his passion for this adventure. Joining Melbourne meant not only pursuing his baseball dreams but also fulfilling his long-standing desire to explore Australia. Collaborating with Aussie legends like Jon Deeble, Pete Moylan, and even Yankees icon Graeme Lloyd was an added bonus.

His early-season pyrotechnics suggest the ex-Yankees prospect has found a rhythm Down Under. Could this be a launching pad back to the big leagues? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the Bronx Bomber in Aussie blue is a captivating spectacle.

Greg Bird didn’t give up after the Yankees dumped him

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Selected from the sun-soaked fields of Colorado in 2011, Greg Bird appeared destined for the iconic Yankees’ pinstripes. Finally donning them at the age of 22 in 2015, he assumed the role of “Teixeira’s heir apparent,” ranking as the team’s fourth-best prospect. His debut lived up to the anticipation – a blazing .261 average, 11 home runs, and a demeanor that hinted at something extraordinary in the making.

However, fate had different plans. A relentless onslaught of injuries commenced: shoulder surgery robbed him of 2016, an ankle required surgical attention in 2017, and a stubborn plantar fascia tear in 2019 added to the tribulations. The dream to play for the Yankees appeared to slip through his fingers.

Undaunted, Greg Bird embarked on a nomadic journey – the Dominican Winter League, Triple-A escapades, and even a stint in the Independent League. A glimmer of hope emerged in 2021 when he slammed 27 homers with the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate, earning him a second chance with the Yankees. Yet, 2022 proved challenging, marked by struggles in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

But true to his name, Greg Bird refuses to be confined. This season, he exchanged the snowy confines of Scranton for the Antipodean sunshine of the Melbourne Aces. And guess what? The ex-Yankees prospect has taken flight once again. His bat slices through the air, leading the league in homers, while his average and on-base skills create a harmonious symphony.

Greg Bird’s Australian sojourn goes beyond statistics; it embodies a player unwilling to let his dream fade. It signifies chasing passion across continents and finding joy in the crack of the bat beneath foreign skies. Whether this resurgence charts the course back to the Bronx remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain – Greg Bird, the once-besieged Yankees prospect, is soaring anew, a testament to the indomitable spirit that can rewrite any narrative.

Will he be back to MLB?

Greg Bird’s professional journey reads like a poignant ballad of “what ifs.” Injuries cruelly seized his bat just as he appeared poised for the glory of Yankee pinstripes. Although he didn’t become the cornerstone at first base for the Bronx Bombers, his name resonates, especially in the magical postseason of 2017. Coming tantalizingly close to the World Series, the ex-Yankees prospect soared during the ALCS, etching his presence in a mere 13 games.

Boasting a .244 average, .426 OBP, and .512 slugging over 54 plate appearances, the former Yankees prospect wasn’t merely on base; he transformed into a run-producing force. Three homers and six RBI, including pivotal blasts in the ALDS sweep against Cleveland, showcased his belonging on the grand stage. The resounding impact of his home run against Houston in the ALCS still echoes, as captured by MLB’s YouTube channel.

The question lingers: could this resurgence in Australia be his ticket back to affiliated baseball? Only time will unveil the answer. However, if Greg Bird continues to scorch the Melbourne Aces as he is now, it’s challenging to envision an MLB team resisting a taste of that magic. His determination to rewrite his narrative burns as intensely as his swing, and who knows, one day, the Bronx might once again reverberate with the crack of his bat.

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