Bird's big autumn nets AFL MVP Award

Yankees prospect hit .313 with six home runs, 21 RBIs in 26 games

The Yankees' Greg Bird (l) and the Mariners' Patrick Kivlehan combined to drive in 43 runs. (Bill Mitchell/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | November 15, 2014 4:06 PM

It wouldn't be easy for Greg Bird to forget what he did in the Arizona Fall League this year. Just in case, the Yankees prospect is taking home a souvenir that will help him remember.

Before Saturday afternoon's title game between Peoria and Salt River, Bird received the 2014 Joe Black Award as the AFL's Most Valuable Player.

Over 26 games for Scottsdale, the 22-year-old first baseman batted .313, tied for the league lead with six home runs and was second with 21 RBIs. He was also the MVP of the Fall Stars Game.

Bird, who is ranked as the Yankees' No. 11 prospect, was drafted out of a Colorado high school in the fifth round of 2011. He whacked 14 home runs and 30 doubles while batting .271 over 102 games between Class A Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton this season.

Previous Joe Black Award winners include Tommy Hanson (2008), Dustin Ackley (2010), Nolan Arenado (2011) and MLB.com No. 3 prospect Kris Bryant (2013).

No. 6 Mariners prospect Patrick Kivlehan, who led the AFL with 22 RBIs for Surprise, received the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini won that honor last year.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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