By: Josh Sabo | Minor League Writer
Robert Refsnyder, 2B:
Rob Refsnyder was the Yankees 5th round pick in 2012. He was technically drafted as an outfielder but the Yankees always intended to move him to second. His stock has really taken off as a second baseman. The team will soon need a good long term second baseman, and as of now Refsnyder is looking like he can become that player. He will begin the 2014 season in Double-A.
Born: March 26, 1991
Drafted: University of Arizon, 2012 (5th round).
2012 A-ball stats( 46 GMs): BA/OBP/SLG/WOBA/WRC+ .241/.319/.364/.319/91
2013 A-ball stats(13 GMs) .370/.452/.481/.434/173
2013 Hi-A stats(117 GMS) .283/.408/.404/.384/140
Refsnyder was born in South Korea, but was adopted when he was three months old. His adopted parents raised him in California, where he attended Laguna Hills High. Refsnyder was actually high school teammates with Royals lefty John Lamb, but was no where near as good of a prospect..
Refsnyder wasn't even drafted coming out high school, and really only bloomed as a prospect once he got into college.
With that said he really came into his own in college where he never had an OPS under .800 and had an OPS of 1.000 in his junior year. Rob was a key part of Arizona's, College World Series run. He ended up with the MVP of the College WS, and signed with the Yankees soon after.
Refsnyder's college coaches all seemed to be very high on Refsnyder and his coach was quoted as saying that his outfielder has "the aptitude to hit,”... “he has good bat speed; he’s just a good hitter". Scouts agreed that he could hit but questioned if he had enough power to be a corner outfielder.
A lot of scouts wanted Refsnyder to field groundballs as an infielder, but he did not feel that was fair to his teammates. In an interview with Chad Jennings, Refsnyder said that he that he felt it would be disrespectful to the teams current secondbaseman if he took grounders at the position. He apparently knew his refusal to take grounder would hurt his draft stock, but was willing to put his team first.
This means that the Yankees took a bit of risk, as they had no way of knowing how he would look at secondbase. So far the risk has paid off as he dominated minor league ball last year, and looks like he can make the majors pretty soon.
His 2013 performance was both good and bad. He showed that he has a good bat for second, and a decent amount of pop, but he was very shaky on defense. This isn't entirely surprising, as he hadn't played the position since high school, but it is still a reason for concern. It probably is one of the reasons that he was ranked higher on prospect lists, including my own. If he gets his defense down, he will shoot up the organization's prospect ladder.
He may never be a Robinson Cano type player, but he may become a solid regular. His performance last year allowed him to pass two levels and now he may only be a year away from the majors.He really excelled on offense, especially when you consider he played in two pitcher friendly parks. His power numbers were actually a better on the road, not that he will need much power anyway.
He has decent pop, which comes in the form of doubles, and he has a good hit tool.Refsnyder is a line-drive hitter who uses the entire field. But the best part of his hit tool is his ability to get on-base. Last season he had 8 more walks than strikeouts. His 84 walks last season wasn't a fluke as he has a good eye at the plate.
Refsnyder's biggest weakness is his defense. Though it is more of question-mark than a weakness. After all he hasn't played second since high school. But many people believe that his defense will improve or is improving. Jim Callis, from MLB.com wrote that Refsnyder is a prospect "who's making strides at his new position". He also tweeted the following comment about Refsnyder at second: He "started slow there, nice improvements 2nd half last yr, can be adeq to avg. . Additionally Baseball America and others feel that he can be a decent defender at second.
Refsnyder is projected to be major league ready by 2016, and could very well be the Yankees starting second baseman by that time. Refsnyder doesn't project to have the highest ceiling, or even be an all-star, but he has talent. He could probably hit about 10 homerun a year, and would be able to get on-base at a good clip. I believe he'll become an average defender, which probably means his projections is along the line of a Freddy Sanchez type player.It's really hard to tell what type of player he will become until he plays in AA, and gets more experience at second.
Refsnyder is going to begin the 2014 season in Trenton(AA), and probably spend some time there. Even if he shows he is ready for a promotion, the Yankees have a lot of infielders in AAA that will need time at second. The team has a logjam of infielders in AAA, and while most of those players aren't all that great they need to play. For instance players like Scott Sizemore and Jose Pirela, have to play in order to compete for a job on the Yankees. However, he will probably end up playing half of the season at AAA.