After being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, then outfielder (now second baseman) Rob Refsnyder has quickly climbed the minor league ladder in the Yankees' organization. After a bit of a sub-par first impression (91 wRC+) with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs, Refsnyder bounced back very, very strongly (173 wRC+) at the same level to start 2013. In turn, Refsnyder earned a promotion to the High-A Tampa Yankees in mid-May, where he continued to rake, hitting .283/.408/.404. Now in Double-A, Refsnyder keeps making serious noise with the bat here in 2014.
Through 57 games and 228 plate appearances, Refsnyder is hitting .327/.371/.539 with the Thunder. While those numbers are very encouraging, it is, at the same time, interesting to see Refsnyder hit for much more power and draw fewer walks compared to what he did in 2013. Despite playing in 73 fewer games, Refsnyder's six home runs this season already match last year's total. And his overall power, in terms of ISO, is a staggering 92 points higher than last year's mark (.212 vs. .120). On the flip side, the walks are way down this year compared to last (14.7% vs. 5.6%), but if he's hitting for this kind of power, you can live with it. We'll worry about the lack of walks when (if?) he stops crushing Double-A competition.
Now, if you've been reading Tanya's Baby Bomber Recaps, you'd notice that Refsnyder has been on quite the tear recently. Over his last 10 games, Refsnyder is hitting .476/.500/.905; since the start of May (34 games) he's hitting .366/.390/.641; and even since April 17 (45 games), Refsnyder is raking to a .365/.402/.590 line. No matter where you pick your endpoint, Rob Refsnyder is flat-out making a mockery of the Eastern League.
Defensively, Refsnyder still has work to do at second, but strides have been made. Remember: this is just his second season at the position since high school, so of course there were going to be bumps in the road. Refsnyder is athletic enough to man the position, has pretty decent range, and has a strong arm; he just needs to continue to get reps and experience at the position.
Considering we're still in the early stages of June, it might still be too soon to really think of a possible promotion to Triple-A for Refsnyder, but he is sure making his case. If he continues to hit well (it doesn't even have to be this well), come the All-Star Break in mid-July, perhaps a one-way ticket to Scranton, PA could be in order. Second baseman Jose Pirela is currently in Triple-A, but the general consensus is that Refsnyder is the better prospect, so the former should move off the position in favor of the latter in that event. In the meantime, Refsnyder is, at least, providing fans of some hope that the team could have its future second baseman just a couple steps away from the major leagues.