Yankees first baseman Greg Bird is slashing .389/.500/.722 with one home run and three RBIs through eight spring training games.
Teammate Luke Voit is hitting .286/.412/.714 with two home runs and five RBIs, and has noticeably improved his defense, through eight Grapefruit League games as well.
Yet manager Aaron Boone isn't ready to declare a favorite in the Yankees' first base competition, for which there is likely only one spot on the 25-man roster.
"We are not at that point yet. I am kind of excited where they both are,'' Boone said, according to the New York Post's George A. King III. "We have two impact players in the organization.''
With injuries to Luis Severino and CC Sabathia carrying significant influences to the way Boone composes New York's Opening Day roster. The Yankees are likely to go with a three-man bench, which could include infielder DJ LeMahieu, outfielder Clint Frazier and backup catcher Austin Romine.
That means only one player between Voit and Bird would be on the active roster given how GM Brian Cashman doesn't envision the Yankees forming a platoon.
"My gut is we're not carrying both Bird and Voit on the club," Cashman told WFAN earlier this week.
With fewer than three weeks until Opening Day, it's a difficult competition to evaluate so far, especially considering what each player brings to the table.
Bird, 26, is two years younger than the 28-year-old Voit, however he can become a free agent in 2022 while Voit is under team control until 2025.
Bird has struggled with injuries in the past, appearing in only 130 games over the past three seasons due to various ankle, foot and shoulder surgeries.
Voit, meanwhile, debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017 and has only appeared in 109 MLB games thus far, however he helped spark the Yankees' strong 2018 second half by dominating American League pitching after Aaron Judge went down with a fractured wrist.
"Luke is carrying into what we saw [in 2018]. He was an impact player last year and he has carried those at-bats into these games where he is really controlling the strike zone,'' Boone said of Voit. "We have seen him improve defensively.''
In 39 games last year, Voit slashed .333/.405/.689 with 14 home runs and 33 RBIs, replacing Bird as the starting first baseman given Bird's immense struggles at the plate (.199/.286/.386 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 82 games).
Yet Bird, who last August was mired in a 7-for-71 slump over a 20-game stretch, has begun to turn things around this spring and show what he's capable of when fully healthy, which he hasn't been since debuting in 2015.
"[Bird's] at-bats have been terrific," Boone said of Bird. "What a different guy this year. You feel he is going to impact it."
The right-handed hitting Voit has a .309/.349/.679 batting line against lefties and .278/.362/.511 line against righties. Bird, a lefty, hits .242/.340/.469 against left-handed pitchers and .205/.291/.424 against righties.
But despite their splits, Boone said Bird hitting from the left side would help the Yankees mix up their lineup a little more given the only other full-time lefties who could see MLB playing time are Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Tyler Wade, another utility player vying for a roster spot. (Aaron Hicks is a switch hitter.)
"Obviously that is something Greg brings to the table, a little more balance," Boone said about lineup composition, "but with Voit, he handles right-handed pitching and Bird, when he is right, does as good as you can against lefties. I wouldn't say it is a big factor."
Given both players have minor-league options, the Yankees won't be forced to waive or trade whichever player loses out on the battle, Cashman said.
"It doesn't mean what I'm saying right now is gospel because it depends how this roster this shakes out," he said. "But I think going into spring training, we were like, 'May the best person win at first base,' but I don't think there was a thought process of carrying both because I'm not sure the at-bats are there for the party line of having all participants, including LeMahieu."
Talking about his evaluaiton process, Cashman said he sees both sides.
He thought acquiring Voit in a mid-season trade for Chasen Shreve paid off, adding, "It was an incredible story" to see him take over and help carry the Yankees to the postseason.
But he said he also believes Bird, who added about 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason in an effort to build more power, is beginning to look like the player who hit 11 home runs in 46 games in 2015, when he was called up midway through the season and helped take the Yankees to the AL wild-card game.
"We've always believed in Bird and we feel like we haven't had a chance to see the real Bird yet because of injuries," Cashman said. "... He looks like the potential Bird that we've always believed. People probably forget turning the clock back that he was the most accomplished hitter in our system (a few years ago). If you asked me who was our best hitter, it was going to come down to Gary Sanchez or Bird."
Cashman added: "At the end of the day, it's going to be a hell of a competition. They're fighting it out now. I believe my gut is that only one will be on (the roster), but it doesn't mean I'm right."