18 Feb Rob Refsnyder and How He Fits In With The Yankees future plans
By: Chris Northrop
Yankee utility man Rob Refsnyder is known to Yankee fans from his call-up to the big league team in July 2015 when he hit a 2-run home run in one of his two first at-bats; however, he was not able to sustain this pace and 4 days later was optioned to Scranton-Wilkes Barre in what has become a familiar shuttle for him.
Drafted in the 5th round out of the 2012 draft, Refsnyder was coming off a senior season with the University of Arizona Wildcats in which they had won the College World Series and Refsnyder had been the Most Outstanding Player. Further back in Refsnyder’s athletic repertoire, he became the quarterback for his high school football team in his senior season and was recruited as a quarterback by various PAC-10 colleges.
While in college, Refsnyder played right field; however, since he was drafted by the Yankees, he has been converted into a second baseman, and, while the Yankees like his bat, “…they have lost all faith in his defensive skills and his ability to play second base.” “The Expendables,” by Jeana Bellezza, bleedingyankeeblue.blogspot.com, 2/9/17. Of course, any right fielder coming up through the Yankee minors alongside of Aaron Judge was going to become whatever position was most needed, in this case, second base. While Refsnyder has become versatile, he has not become as solid a defender as the Yankees had hoped.
As for his offensive numbers, Refsnyder’s minor league numbers have not translated into big league numbers yet. His numbers at Scranton-Wilkes Barre in 2016:
.316/.365/.402 with 2 HRs and 20 RBIs. In 2016, his slash line for the Yankees looked like this: .250/328/.309, with 0 HRs and 12 RBIs.
A brief review of the opinions expressed by writers and fans on the Yankees’ recent acquisition of Chris Carter shows that a majority believe Refsnyder is expendable to the team. With any luck, let’s hope that Rob Refsnyder does not believe he is expendable. As one of the youngsters coming into spring training for the Yankees, I hope we see a Refsnyder who shows the determination and skill that he has so often shown in the past, whether as a high school QB, a CWS MVP, or a prospect finding his way on a team mired in transition.
Yankee fans should be rooting for all the young talent, including Rob Refsnyder, to have breakout years and propel the Yankees into a winning season.