Greg Bird’s presence will be key for Yankees in 2018

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Greg Bird
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Greg Bird /

If there’s a Yankees star that the rest of the league should fear, besides Aaron Judge, it’s Greg Bird.

Last season was full of success and excitement for the Yankees. Many projected the team to be mediocre in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year but the Baby Bombers proved all doubters wrong by reaching Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against a Houston Astros team that would end up winning the World Series.

The Yankees have a bright future ahead and their young superstars helped them make it as far as they did in 2017. One of their most talented up-and-comers is power-hitting first baseman Greg Bird.

Making his major league debut in 2015, Bird made a significant impact for an aging and fading Yankees team by hitting 11 home runs in just 46 games, but he missed the entire 2016 season due to a shoulder issue.

Bird was supposed to come back stronger than ever and have a breakout year in 2017, but the injury bug hit him again and a lingering ankle injury sidelined him for most of the season.

However, Bird was able to return at the end of the regular season and his contributions were one of the keys to New York’s success during their first postseason appearance since 2015.

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Yankees‘ general manager Brian Cashman deserves a lot of credit for believing in Bird instead of going after a first baseman at the trade deadline. Bird rewarded Cashman’s faith — and expectations are high for the 25-year-old.

Heading into 2018, the Yanks want Bird to be their starting first baseman and having his bat in the middle of the lineup come day one will make a huge difference. If healthy, Bird can hit at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs and he’ll have a chance to prove that this season, making them an even more dangerous and exciting team.

No one expected the Yanks to take the Astros to Game 7 of the ALCS last season but they showed what a lineup with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Bird is capable of.

New York’s new, young core is exciting — it should be feared by other teams and is here to stay.

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The Yankees will be World Series contenders for years to come and Greg Bird will be a huge part of their success.