Yankees Bird and Torres Continue to Shine in AFL


Two of the New York Yankees organization’s most promising young players, Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres, are off to a hot start in the Arizona Fall League.

19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, the New York Yankees number two prospect according to MLB Pipeline, had the winning hit in the Scottsdale Scorpions dramatic 8-7 victory over the Glendale Desert Dogs Friday.

Torres came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game and came through in a big way, scorching a line drive RBI single to left to give the Scorpions their second win of the Arizona Fall League season. Torres was 2-for-4 with an opposite field double as well as his game winning single. He scored two runs on the night and hit an impressive homer in his first game for Scottsdale.

After Torres’s latest performance, Keith Law of ESPN summed up the feelings of many Yankees fans when he tweeted simply, “Gleyber is going to be a star. Be excited.”

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Another Yankees player who has been on a roll in his first three games is projected 2017 first baseman Greg Bird. You wouldn’t know that this is his first game action in more than a year by looking at the box score. He laced his fourth double in three games in the ninth inning Friday night, and is 4-for-13 with a walk, two runs, and two RBI in the desert thus far.

Miguel Andujar has also quietly gotten off to a good start this fall, going 1-for-4 Friday night, which makes him 4-for-10 with a triple and three runs scored.

One item of note from Friday’s game was middle infielder Tyler Wade seeing his first professional game action in center field. He hasn’t done much at the plate in two games (0-for-8 with 4 Ks), but it is cool to see the team increasing his versatility. He strikes me as an interesting utility option for the big league club in the not too distant future.

While the Yankees hitters have turned in strong performances overall, the results of their pitching has been a little more mixed. Dillon Tate gave up three earned runs on four hits during his inning of work Friday, striking out one. J.P. Feyereisen picked up the win, but also was responsible for the blown save after issuing three free passes and allowing two earned in the ninth.

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Tate, Feyereisen, and Brody Koerner, three of the four arms the Yankees sent to the AFL, have combined to allow nine earned runs and six walks in their 5.2 innings pitched. Not great. James Kaprielian has been the saving grace of the team’s pitching staff, with his three dominant shutout innings on Wednesday.