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Rob Refsnyder has one more thing to fix before he gets the call

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Everyone knows Rob Refsnyder would be in the MLB if he had more reps at second base. But there is one more issue that has been an impediment to his progress.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Refsnyder, despite having a grand total of zero service time at the Major League level, is a bit more popular than current Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew. It is well known that his glove is keeping him off the roster, but while he waits, there is one more thing for him to work on. Rob Refsnyder might not like fielding ground balls that much, but he sure loves hitting them. According to Minor League Central, his ground ball rate has been substantial since earning the call to Triple-A Scranton:

Year PA LD% GB% OFB%
2014 333 15.7% 49.8% 26.5%
2015 267 15.3% 56.2% 20.7%


Needless to say, that won't cut it in the Bronx against superior MLB pitching. Refsnyder needs to start hitting more line drives and fly balls, or he risks getting the dreaded "Quadruple-A player" tag before long.

Luckily for Refsnyder, it's hard to simply attribute his lack of line drives to him simply lacking the ability to make contact. At no point in his career has he had a huge strikeout problem. In fact, the ability to make contact has been his calling card for most of his career. In addition to drawing a healthy amount of walks, Refsnyder's strikeout rate is at a highly respectable 13.5% this season. According to Minor League Central, his 2015 Z-Contact% is at a very encouraging 90.6%.

In reality, Refsnyder's ground ball problem is probably due to his swing mechanics. This is what we know about Refsnyder: his BABIP at Triple-A has actually been very good (.360 in 2014, .310 in 2015). With his high ground ball rate, his BABIP should be terrible. In other words, he is either extremely lucky, or he hits the ball very hard. Here is some footage of his swing, taken by Baseball America:

It looks like he has a nice, level swing that should, in theory, generate a lot of line drives. That might be because he actually hits a line drive in the gif shown above. He does a nice job of tucking his right elbow in to get the bat head down quickly. At first glance, nothing really jumps out as being problematic. Someone with more hitting expertise would probably be able to isolate the part of Refnsyder's swing that is killing his line drives. Hopefully the forward strides of Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams this season are indicative of the Yankees' player development team turning a corner.

On a more positive note, Rob Refsnyder has shown that he has the athleticism, skill, and desire to eventually play good defense at second base. As the winner of the Most Outstanding Player award in the 2012 College World Series, he looks like a guy fans would want to have up in a clutch situation. The bottom line is that he will be MLB ready at some point. The last thing he needs is to hit so many grounders that he flames out after a few weeks in the big leagues. If Refsnyder can make the adjustments he needs to make, he will be succeeding in a Yankees uniform very soon.