Third baseman Brandon Laird, 22, selected by the Yankees in the 27th round (844th overall) of the 2007 draft out of Cypress (Calif.) CC, has made a strong - in every sense of the word - comeback in his first year with Double-A Trenton.
Laird, known for a smooth stroke but also for slow starts the previous two seasons, already had hit 19 home runs in 85 games entering last night. He was hitting .283 with a .343 OBP and 81 RBIs this season. He also had walked 29 times after drawing 39 walks all of last season.
He didn't particularly distinguish himself with Class A Tampa in 2009, hitting .266 with a .329 on-base percentage, 13 homers and 75 RBIs in 124 games. But Laird, who hit .273 with Class A Charleston in 2008 after hitting .339 with the GCL Yankees in 2007, is well on his way to improving upon all of his 2009 numbers.
Laird, who hit for the cycle earlier this season, has good bloodlines; he's the younger brother of Tigers backup catcher Gerald Laird.