A-Rod praises prospects Judge, Bird

A-Rod praises prospects Judge, Bird

TAMPA, Fla. -- Asked about the significance of his own spring statistics, now owning four hits in nine at-bats, Alex Rodriguez shrugged his shoulders. He has been more taken with what prospects Greg Bird and Aaron Judge are doing in Yankees camp.

Unsolicited, Rodriguez offered the names of Bird and Judge during Monday's 4-3 win over the Rays at George M. Steinbrenner Field, lauding the budding sluggers as "two of the finest young hitters I've seen in a long time."

"You don't see those type of young hitters come around very often," Rodriguez said. "We're lucky to have two of them. I'm very impressed."

Yankees prospects discuss spring

Bird, 22, was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League last year, coming off a campaign in which he batted .271 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs in 102 games for Class-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. The left-handed hitting first baseman is ranked as the Yankees' No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.

Judge, who turns 23 next month, is rated as the Yankees' No. 5 prospect by MLB.com. He earned an invite to big league camp after slugging 17 home runs for Class-A Charleston and Tampa in his first professional season, batting .308 with 78 RBIs between the two levels.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.