No doubt more words were written, and more tweets published about Rob Refsnyder than any Yankees prospect in 2014.
Refsnyder, 23, a fifth-round selection in the 2012 draft, got many excited by hitting .342 (78-for-244) in 60 games at Trenton. While the likes of Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts struggled at second base in The Bronx, there was a cry for Refsnyder to be called up.
“What are they waiting for?’’ stated one tweet. “They just don’t want to give a young guy a chance,’’ read another.
In reality, it was neither. If Refsnyder, who ended up batting .318 (164-for-515) with 14 homers, 63 RBIs and OPS of .884 between Trenton and Triple-A Scranton, played defense as good as offense, he might have been Rookie of the Year.
While Refsnyder abused Double-A pitchers and caused their Triple-A counterparts headaches, he, as a former outfielder, was adjusting to the defensive side of second base a bit more slowly.
“Rob has a tremendous comfort at the plate,’’ said Yankees Roving Evaluator/Pulaski manager Tony Franklin, who managed Refsnyder at Trenton in 2014. “In the field he is working, and really improving.’’
Refsnyder’s issues at second base are mainly positioning, especially on shifts. As a result, he doesn’t really turn the double play all that well.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has stated Refsnyder “is a second baseman.’’ He likely will be the Yankees’ second baseman in 2016 after he gets another year of seasoning at Triple-A Scranton. As soon as his defense is at the adequate level, he’s set.
But not yet, which why Stephen Drew will play second base for the Yankees in 2015 and Jose Pirela will likely serve as a utility player.