Monday, July 13, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Robert Refsnyder

Robert Refsnyder was called up before Saturday night's game against the Boston Red Sox and has played in each of the last two games for the Yankees. The Yankees have had essentially a black hole at second base ever since Robinson Cano left via free agency and has tried to fill the position with Brian Roberts, Yangervis Solarte, Stephen Drew, Kelly Johnson and others and none of the options have been especially effective. Refsnyder has killed the ball in every minor league stop of his career while making great strides with his second base defense after being drafted out of the University of Arizona as an outfielder. It makes me especially happy and especially proud for whatever reason to allow you to meet a prospect, Mr. Robert Refsnyder.

Robert Daniel Refsnyder, born Kim Jung-tae, was born on March 26, 1991 in Seoul, South Korea before being adopted at five months old by Jane and Clint Refsnyder. Refsnyder's parents were of German and Irish descent and lived in Laguna Hills, California where Rob became an avid fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Lakers. While in Laguna Hills Refsnyder attended Laguna Hills High School where he played basketball, baseball and football for the High School teams. Refsnyder would then take his talents with him to the University of Arizona's baseball team where he led the team to a College World Series title in 2012. Refsnyder was named the College World Series' Most Outstanding Player in that series leading the New York Yankees to draft him in the fifth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft.

Refsnyder was drafted 187th overall in the draft as a right fielder and after signing for a $205,900 signing bonus was assigned to the Charleston Riverdogs as a second baseman. Refsnyder began the 2013 season back in Charleston where he raises his .241 batting average from his debut season to .370 with a .452 on base percentage in 13 games before being promoted to the Tampa Yankees where he finished the 2013 season batting .283 in 117 games. Refsnyder earned a promotion to the Trenton Thunder in 2014 where he worked with hitting coach Marcus Thames on potentially increasing his power output. Refsnyder hit .342 with six home runs under the watchful eye of Thames and after 60 games earned a call up to the Yankees top farm system affiliate, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

In Refsnyder's first 19 games as a member of the RailRiders he batted .371 with three home runs catching the eye of many inside the Yankees organization including Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Refsnyder, bouncing back and forth from the outfield and second base, finished the season with a .300 average, eight home runs and 33 RBI in 77 games. Refsnyder was invited to spring training in 2015 and was given an opportunity to win the second base job out of camp over Stephen Drew but was assigned to Triple-A to begin the season to primarily work on his defense. Refsnyder was hitting .290 with seven home runs, 17 doubles, 37 RBI and came along with a much improved defense before the promotion on July 11.

Refsnyder's debut was not one that will always be remembered by the casual MLB fan but it will always be remembered by those Yankees fans that have watched him progress through the farm system and work his way all the way to the Bronx. Welcome to the Bronx Rob and welcome to the family, we're glad to have you.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)