After months upon months of waiting and waiting for Rob Refsnyder to ascend to the Major Leagues and possibly fill the Robinson Cano-sized void at second base, he's here. Rob Refsnyder has suited up for the New York Yankees. Twice, in fact. He debuted on Saturday night at Fenway Park. On Sunday he got his first two big league hits, including this.
That's not just a home run. That's a big boy shot over the Green Monster. It was legitimately impressive. It was awesome for all kinds of reasons. Here are just some of those reasons.
1. It was a bomb. Did I mention that? Look at that thing. Look at his swing. A bit of a leg kick, a quick fluid stroke through the zone, and liftoff. Refsnyder's calling card is his bat, and while he's not going to be a major masher of home runs, he projects to run into 10-15 per season if he sticks.
2. It was hit off a right-handed pitcher. There was some talk of Refsnyder moving into a pseudo-platoon with Stephen Drew at first, but Joe Girardi let him stay in the game against the right-handed Alexi Ogando, and furthermore kept him in late in the game with a lead to protect despite Ref's shoddy defensive reputation. That shows trust, and it shows that Girardi wants to get a good long look at Refsnyder in different situations, not just ones that maximize the rookie's chance for success. Hitting that homer likely went a long way towards him working his way into Girardi's Circle of Trust (GM).
3. It was the second half of the park that he hit to that day. Refsnyder's first hit was a line shot to right field off Tommy Layne. It's demonstrative of his all-fields approach, where he can spray the ball all over but pull for power. He's a complete hitter, and he walked just as often as he struck out (both good figures at 12.1% rates) at Triple-A. That's fantastic.
4. It was against the dang Red Sox. The kid knows how to put on a show, doesn't he? The fact that it was against Boston and in enemy territory makes it that much sweeter.
5. John Sterling's home run call. "Rob Refsnyder has Seoul!" Refsnyder was born in Seoul, South Korea. Oh John, you knave.
6. Stephen Drew was not part of the equation. We may just be witnessing the end of Stephen Drew: starting second baseman. While I don't think Drew will be fully shipped out (he could be useful off the bench for his power and ability to play shortstop), he obviously has no business being a regular player. Plugging an unpolished defender in at second base during a playoff run could get interesting, but Refnsyder had only made two errors since the start of June down at Scranton. Progress.
If Rob Refsnyder is indeed the new second baseman, it will be a process. He's unquestionably a defensive downgrade from Drew, and there's no guarantee he'll hit. We'll have to wait and see, and it may require patience. But one way or another, Rob Refsnyder is a big league-quality player. This home run was hopefully the first of many more.
Nicolas Stellini is a staff writer at Pinstripe Alley, where he writes about the Yankees and covers the Double-A Trenton Thunder. His national coverage can be found at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @StelliniTweets.