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Yankees Prospect Profile: Rob Refsnyder

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Will 2015 be Refsnyder's time to shine?

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Background

The Yankees selected Rob Refsnyder in the 5th round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Arizona where he was named Most Outstanding Player during the Wildcats' championship run. Refsnyder was primarily an outfielder for Arizona before the Yankees decided his skill set was better suited for second base. He began his professional career with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs, batting .241/.319/.364 in his first half-season as a Yankee. Refsnyder really turned it up in his first full professional season, putting up an .826 OPS between Charleston and Tampa in 2013.

2014 Results

Refsnyder continued to improve his stock as a prospect by following up his strong 2013 season with another impressive season in the upper levels of the minors in 2014. He kicked off the year at Double-A Trenton, where he batted .342/.385/.548 in 60 games. The Yankees saw fit to promote him on to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after his incredible run through the Eastern League. Refsnyder rewarded their faith and kept right on hitting, batting .300/.389/.456 in 77 games to finish out the year. It seemed like Refsnyder had done plenty to show he was deserving of a shot at the big league level while the Yankees were getting lackluster performances from Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew at second base. The criticism of Refsnyder, if anything, was that his defense was just not ready for the majors. That likely influenced the team's decision to have him remain in the minors for the entire 2014 season.

2015 Outlook

It seemed like, momentarily, that the Yankees might be ready to hand the second base job to Refsnyder right out of the gate until the team went and inked Drew to a one-year deal. The silver lining to that is that Drew's salary is not prohibitive if he proves to be no better than the player he was last season. Refsnyder will get a chance to go to the minors, hopefully with improved defense, and can force the team's hand with his results. With two highly impressive seasons under his belt back-to-back, there's no reason to believe that he won't be able to string together another one in 2015. Now that the Yankees have lost out on Yoan Moncada, Refsnyder's development into their second baseman of the near future becomes all the more important. It's been a while since we've had a prospect hit as well as Refsnyder with a spot basically just waiting for his arrival. The good news is that arrival will almost certainly happen at some point this year. Refsnyder may not have the ceiling of a superstar, but every little bit of excitement helps. If he hits like he has the past two years of that, there won't be any shortage of excitement where he's concerned.