Jun
11

Promotion to Triple-A puts Refsnyder on cusp of helping Yankees

By
(MiLB.com)

(MiLB.com)

A little more than a month ago, I wrote about Rob Refsnyder and the long-term future of the second base position in the Bronx. The Yankees lost Robinson Cano and replaced him with the epitome of a stopgap in Brian Roberts, so the job is wide open going forward. By virtue of playing the position and starting the season at the Double-A level, Refsnyder is the logical candidate to get the first opportunity to be Cano’s long-term replacement.

At the time of that post, the 23-year-old Refsnyder was hitting .267/.344/.384 (109 wRC+) though 23 games with Double-A Trenton. He shook off a very slow start (5-for-35 with 15 strikeouts) and his numbers were climbing up towards respectability. Since that day, Refsnyder has gone an absurd 55-for-142 (.387) to raise his season batting line to .342/.385/.548 (158 wRC+) through 60 Double-A games. He had multiple hits in 15 of his last 17 games at the level. He was kinda hot.

The Yankees promoted Refsnyder to Triple-A Scranton yesterday and he went 2-for-4 (of course) in his first game with the RailRiders, so the move up a level didn’t slow him down. The promotion was obviously well-deserved and the timing matches up perfectly with last season — Refsnyder was promoted to High-A Tampa after 59 games with Low-A Charleston in 2013. The Yankees let him spend two months at each level to get his feet wet before promoting him in each of his two pro seasons.

Now here’s something I wrote in that Refsnyder post early last month:

Any time a player gets to the Double-A level and has success, especially a player drafted out of a major college program, he puts himself on the map for a potential big league role. Obviously the season is very young and Refsnyder still has another 120-something games left in his season, but I’m encouraged he shook off the really poor start and has started to hit like he did last year. The Double-A level has always been something of a separator between actual potential big leaguers and regular ol’ prospects. You know what I mean. Refsnyder is starting to separate himself a bit.

Refsnyder clearly separated himself from the wannabe prospects in the weeks since that post, and at this point we have no choice but to talk about him as a potential big league option. Not just next year either, I mean later this season, after a few weeks in Triple-A. Cano played only 24 games in Triple-A before being called up in 2005 because Tony Womack was terrible. Roberts hasn’t been quite as bad as Womack, but he’s not someone the Yankees should hesitate to replace either.

Aside from position, Cano and Refsnyder have very little in common and are not at all comparable. It would be unfair to compare the two. Cano was a second year big leaguer when he was Refsnyder’s age, for example, so they have entirely different career paths. The better comparison — and again, I mentioned this last month — is probably Brett Gardner, who was also a mid-round draft pick who made it to Triple-A Scranton in the second half of his second full season. (Gardner was a third rounder, Refsnyder a fifth rounder.)

Gardner was blocked when he reached Triple-A in the second half of 2007. The MLB outfield at the time was Hideki Matsui, Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, and young Melky Cabrera coming off a .360 OBP in 2006. Gardner had to sit in Triple-A until the middle of 2008 before getting a chance, and when he didn’t immediately produce, he was back in the minors. Refsnyder does not have the same kind of positional logjam standing between him and MLB. Roberts is as disposable as they come. A promotion depends on his performance more than anything.

For what it’s worth, PECOTA’s 50th percentile projection pegged Refsnyder as a .235/.319/.344 hitter at the MLB level coming into this season. That’s an estimate of his current talent level, not a prediction. Roberts went into last night’s game hitting .239/.317/.350 on the year, which is right in line with Refsnyder’s projection. Refsnyder’s defense is still a work in progress — he played second in high school and outfield in college, so he’s been back at the position for less than two full years — and if they’re going to hit roughly the same, Roberts is probably the better all-around option.

Of course, PECOTA didn’t know Refsnyder would tear the cover off the ball in Double-A for a few weeks. And, of course, projections don’t mean much of anything. The Yankees will have another few weeks to see how Refsnyder performs at Triple-A and another few weeks to see if Roberts can get on any kind of hot streak. If Refsnyder continues to hit and Roberts continues to do whatever he’s been doing most of the year, the only way the team could justify not making a switch is by saying Refsnyder needs more time to improve in the field (which he does).

The promotion to Triple-A puts Refsnyder on the cusp on MLB, and, given his progress to date, the time to give him a shot at the big league level is coming sooner rather than later.

Categories : Minors
  • Frank

    Ready for this infield to have a combined age under 130!

    Give him a few weeks and call him up. He would probably be an upgrade over Roberts right now, but lets give him a little time to season.

    • Ryan D

      A few weeks, isn’t that a bit rushed? I know the Yankees need help right now, but is adding a rookie who isn’t projected to immediately make a huge splash worth rushing him through the system and prematurely promoting him? The less experience he has hitting AAA the harder it will be to adjust to major league talent. And even if he comes out as a league average hitter (for which there is little reason to suspect) it won’t make us a playoff contender alone.

      Let him bide his time in AAA. If he absolutely lights up the pitching there, it would make sense to promote him. Otherwise, it’ll only make his learning curve unnecessarily steep.

      • yankeepanky

        the “learning curve” from AAA to the majors is no more and “no less steep” for an upcoming player whether he spends 3 months, 3 years, or half his career in AAA.
        fact is, there’s no bridge between the two that can prepare one for the upper decks and towering facades of a big league park like Yankee Stadium; for the 40,000 screaming fans; for the spotlight of the NY and National sports medias; for the adrenaline that comes with standing in the batter’s box and viewing firsthand an elite major league pitcher’s stuff.
        To experience those things; and to benefit by sitting beside, and partaking the advice and tutelage of major league hitters who’ve been there and done that …
        THERE’s your learning curve

    • http://none Dan the Padre fan

      Here is a little background on Robert Refsnyder. He’s not only a gifted athlete he’s a serious competitor that does what he needs to do to win the right way. A very classy guy.

      Making the Plays

      Robert Refsnyder has a knack for coming through in the big, championship moments

      by JAY YIM

      Although he wasn’t a New York Yankees fan while growing up in sunny Southern California, Robert Refsnyder always had an appreciation for their iconic shortstop, Derek Jeter. “I just liked how [Jeter] played and liked how he came through in post-season moments,” Refsnyder told KoreAm last month. So in tribute to the Yankee superstar, Refsnyder chose to wear for the University of Arizona ballclub the same No. 2 jersey donned by Jeter. And at the 2012 College World Series, Refsnyder emulated the elder No. 2’s ability to come through in the clutch and provided his own post-season heroics for his Wildcats.

      During Arizona’s five games in Omaha, Neb., where the College World Series takes place annually in June, Refsnyder was a one-man wrecking crew. His .476 average (10 hits in 21 at-bats), including two home runs and five RBI, helped the Wildcats advance in the double-elimination tournament into the final series, where they faced the twotime defending champion University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

      In the best-of-three championship series, Refsnyder once again made his presence felt by making key plays on offense and defense. His most notable contributions: belting a two-run opposite field home run to right field (something that isn’t easily done at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, which has larger dimensions than most college stadiums) in Game 1; and singling in the top of the ninth inning and scoring the eventual championship-winning run in Game 2.

      It was hardly a surprise when Refsnyder was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2012 College World Series. He also earned a spot on the College World Series All-Tournament Team, as Arizona claimed its fourth national baseball title and its first since 1986. “That’s the ultimate goal for a college baseball player,” said Refsnyder, after their championship-clinching victory in Game 2. “We got hot at the right time. To see your teammates pull together makes the event very special.”

      Refsnyder, who served as the clean-up hitter for a very potent Wildcats lineup this season, finished the 2012 college baseball season with impressive numbers across the board. He hit .364 (the second highest mark on his team) with eight home runs and 66 RBI (both marks led the team). He also led the Pacific-12 Conference in total bases with 145, and he was named an All-Pacific-12 Conference team member for the second consecutive season.

      Now, in addition to the stellar stats and the championship-winning moments, the 21-year-old Refsnyder shares something else with Derek Jeter: they both play for the same organization. On June 5, the New York Yankees nabbed Refsnyder in the fifth round (number 187 overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. He got the call from a Yankee scout while walking through a Tucson mall with his girlfriend. Needless to say, he was excited. “To be drafted by the Yankees, there’s such a culture and tradition,” he told the New York Post. “This is what you dream about when you’re a little kid.”

      After signing a contract worth $205,900 with his new club on July 6, it was thought that Refsnyder would be assigned to the Yankees’ Short Season Class-A minor league affiliate in Staten Island. Instead, he was sent to their Class-A team in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 10, which would prove to be an ironic twist of fate.

      During the championship series against the University of South Carolina, Refsnyder and his family were the target of some racist taunts from some Gamecock supporters. He would go on Twitter and write that he would never want to live in South Carolina. He later deleted the comment and tweeted an apology. And in his first professional at-bat on July 10, he received a warm reception from the Charleston RiverDogs fans and promptly singled to right field.

      “I apologize for generalizing a whole state, that’s so stupid and immature on my part,” Refsnyder told reporters. “But I won’t apologize for some of the things I said about trying to stick up for my family and things like that.”

      The family that he was sticking up for consists of his Caucasian parents, Clint and Jane, who adopted him when he was 3 months old, after he was born in Seoul, and his older sister, Elizabeth, who is also a Korean adoptee and played softball at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. His parents, avid baseball junkies, played a big influence on his life, and he looks to honor them by giving his maximum effort every time he steps on the field. “Whenever you wear your family’s name or organization or school [on your uniform], you should play hard … because you’re representing a lot more than just yourself,” he told KoreAm.

      Although Refsnyder manned right field the past two seasons at Arizona, the Yankees drafted him as a second basemen because, although scouts praise his natural hitting ability, he’s not considered to have enough power for playing the outfield at the major league level. However, in his first four games at Charleston, he has found himself back in his customary right field spot, and he’s still collecting hits, with at least one in his first three games. Refsnyder said the current plan is for him to stay in right field if he hits well enough. But he is more than willing to play any position.

      “I honestly don’t have any care in the world where I play as long as I am playing baseball,” Refsnyder told KoreAm. “Whatever the coaching [staff] wants, I’ll do. I’m most comfortable in right field but if they want to move me to left, third [base] or second, or anything … I’ll work the hardest that I can.”

      This article was published in the August 2012 issue of KoreAm. Subscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the August issue, click below.

      You Yankee fans are luck to have him in my opinion….

    • YankeePanky

      the only plausible argument for leaving Ref just a little longer would be his glove. but even then, could it really hurt to “15 day DL Roberts” (perhaps a “hang nail”?) just to see what this kid can do?
      AND….if the glove is less than acceptable (BUT ..the bat is legit) how about (as so many of you suggest) we go the Solarte/Johnson route for 3B-2B …and keep Refs bat in Rightfield???

    • YankeePanky

      to the many proponents of the theory that Refsnyder like other minor league hitters should be held back in AAA to benefit from this supposed “learning curve” etc etc … I say this:
      while i respect this view i hardly agree with it.
      there are 2 views you can hold: a) AAA pitching is comparable to Major League pitching or b) AAA pitching is far inferior.
      I must agree that AAA is inferior. AAA and Major League pitching is “apples and oranges”
      That being the case, I ask you: do you keep feeding someone apples with any reasonable expectation that they’ll somehow come away from it knowing anything but apples? Or, do you teach them about oranges by ACTUALLY feeding them an orange?
      Feed him an orange! Bring him up and feed him oranges!

  • CountryClub

    Maybe he gets called up this year, maybe he doesn’t. But unless he falls off a cliff in AAA, he should be their 2nd baseman in 2015.

    • http://ctyankeeblog.blogspot.com Nick

      They wont just hand it to him, he has a much better shot of being the 2nd baseman in 2015 if he is able to make the majors and play well this season.

    • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

      I am not sure if I would make him the starting 2B to start 2015. At this point I think it is Solarte’s to lose. If Solarte ends up not being an anomaly, then I think Refsnyder (had to look at his last name like 3 times to make sure I spelled it right) would be a trade candidate more than anything. Gots lots of holes to fill (3B,SS,SP) I know Solarte can play multiple positions, but I don’t think he has the bat for 3B. I guess Solarte could be the Yankees 04-10 Chone Figgins but I would rather him play one position and be good at that then being average at 3 positions.

      • Preston

        Why wouldn’t you just keep Solarte at 3b, and put Refsnyder at 2b? That would fill two holes on the roster.

        • I’m One

          Until something happens, the Yankees are paying this guy named A-Rod (you may have heard of him), who will probably spend a fair amount of time at 3B.

          • Preston

            Maybe, but I don’t think A-Rod is capable of manning 3b everyday. But Ghostbuster was saying that we should trade Refsnyder to fill the hole at 3b, so he’s not counting on A-Rod either. Maybe they’re going to double down on terrible INF defense and play Solarte at SS, with Ref still developing at 2b, and a guy with two bad hips at 3b.

            • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

              I don’t think Alex will play another inning of professional baseball for the rest of his life. I could be completely wrong, but I just can’t see the Yankees wanting anything to do with a 40 year old that has played in 44 games the last 2 years. It is a sunk cost, there is no need for the circus to continue. Give him his money so he goes away.(which is easy for me to say since it is not me that has to give me 60 million dollars) There is almost nothing positive of him coming back to the team. (That is unless you are believer he can actually be smart enough to hide his PED use and maybe hit 20 HRs again)

              • Preston

                I don’t disagree. The thing is, Alex still looked pretty good when he did play last season. So maybe they roll the dice and see if he can be a league average 3b. Who knows.

                • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

                  Do I think 40 year old Alex Rodriguez is better than what they have the position right now? Sure. Do I think there are better options out there (that are reasonable – meaning not trading for Tulo and sticking him at 3B) for the Yankees this off-season? You bet your ass, I do.

                • trr

                  Let’s get real here; the optimal landing spot for Rodriguez is DH. Just what the team needs, right? Another washed up, overpaid DH

        • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

          Like I said I don’t think he has the bat to play 3B full time. He is best case scenario is hitting 15 HR 60-80 RBI (what he is projected to finish the year with) at the position, I would like to have more offense at the position. I think he could be a manageable 3B but I might be getting greedy but I would like to see more.

          • Preston

            He’s had the 4th highest wRC+ of any 3b so far this year, so for 233 PAs at least he’s been a really good offensive 3b. I get that we should expect regression so maybe going forward he’d be more of a top 10-15 guy. But to me the offensive standard for 3b and 2b isn’t that big of a difference, Solarte can be better than average at both. The question is which position he’s best at, and what’s the best use of our resources. Right now, Solarte’s fielding percentage shows he has been much more sure=handed at 2b, the position he played more in the minors. But at the same time advanced stats like him better overall at 3b because of his superior range. So it all really comes down to whether or not you think Solarte can improve with the errors in more time at the hot corner. And if Refsnyder is really knocking at the door at 2b, then it’s probably a better use of our assets to utilize the guys we have rather than try to trade for somebody different.

      • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

        Either bring him up shortly this year, or leave him down for 2 weeks to start next year. Arod and Solarte can man 2b/3B for thsoe 2 weeks, get the extra year of team control, then bring him up.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      He’s gotta show he can field the position. His hitting is a plus, no question, but can he catch it, throw it, be in the right place at the right time, & not run into anybody on popup in-betweeners? If so, name that tune. If not, is that because he needs more time playing 2B, or he’s not a 2nd baseman? Is he better suited playing 3B or the outfield? Is Solarte at 2B a better long term solution? Throwing Refsnyder into a possible playoff run in the 2nd half is risky for both the team and Refsnyder. If they’re still in the hunt, & he’s ready and capable of playing the position, it’s a great experience for him. If they are, & he’s not, & he’s over his head defensively, he’ll be exposed, and then the (non?)proverbial crap hits the fan. Roberts is a steadying presence and I think he’ll start to hit, although I really prefer him hitting in the “2-hole” against right-handers rather than 8th or 9th where his lack of pop is noticeable and his skill set is mostly wasted.

  • AbelCabrera

    What is the best MLB player to compare Refsnyder??

    • Michael

      Daniel Murphy with a better glove?

    • gbyanks

      I think mike has compared him to gardner and Matt Carpenter

      • Chris

        Is he fast?

        • Yankee$

          He’s got average speed (avg for a 2B) I think. Not a burner. Maybe 10-15 SBs?

          • Chris Z.

            If he is being compared to Gardner then he won’t steal at all. He could, but he wont.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              Can we stop it with this bullshit? Gardner is 10th in baseball in steals.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                hahaha.

              • Preston

                But if he would just try to steal he’d be first. He basically trips accidentally into the SBs he gets now.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  That’s just ridiculous.

                  • Preston

                    Yes, yes it is.

    • Kosmo

      Zobrist and Kipnis are 2 that come to mind. Zobrist was a 5 rounder and Kipnis a 3rd rounder. BTW Yanks could have drafted Kipnis. Zobrist didn´t show much power potential in the minors.

      • Tyrone Sharpton

        Dustin Pedroia

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Yeah, I think Dustin Pedroia outside of Fenway (.285/.355/.409), with a few less steals, is a reasonable best case scenario.

          • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

            So becoming a Top 3 2B in the league as best case scenario? Really going out on a limb on that one…

            • Angelo

              If you read that correctly, he said Pedroia’s numbers outside of Fenway.

              That’s not exactly all of Pedroia’s ability.

              If Refsnyder hits .285/.350/.400, I would be incredibly pleased.

              • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

                If you compare that .285/350/400 to the current state of MLB 2B right now that 5 (or top 3 if you wanna argue one stats value over another) It an insane comparison no matter the context.

                • Deep Thoughts

                  Seriously. There are some dumb freakin’ comments this afternoon.

    • Dan

      Doesn’t he seem like a Howie Kendrick type? High contact, walks a bit(but not a high walk guy), decent (but not great) power for a second baseman, can also run a little.

    • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

      The best player to compare Refsnyder to is Refsnyder. No need to put ridiculous expectations on a player. If he is a capable MLB 2B, then that is enough for me.

      • lightSABR

        I love me some cheap, league-average players.

    • nycsportzfan

      I compare him to Dustin Pedroia with alittle more pop.

  • http://ctyankeeblog.blogspot.com Nick

    I think I would honestly want them to keep him in Scranton until they see his defense improve, the last thing we want is a guy who hits as poorly as Roberts and fields the ball worse than he does.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      this. His defensive stats aren’t all that impressive so far. Well, at least he’d fit right in with the big league club.

  • Yankee$

    59 games for Rob Ref at Charleston was combined over 2 seasons…46 games in 2012 and 13 games in 2013 (but who’s counting?) ;)

  • Yankee$

    Word is that IF Rob Ref would have taken ground balls at a Second Base for scouts pre-draft (and even played a few games there), he could have been a 2nd or 3rd Rounder. He didn’t do so because he felt that would have disrespected his Second Baseman teammate. So, he’s a class act too, and a team guy.

    • AndrewYF

      Or a dummy.

  • Leg-End

    2015 seems logical but I really wouldn’t see any harm in giving him some time in September to see how he handles it, particularly if he continues to rake at AAA.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      I’d rather keep an eye on his service time, especially if it is just a regular sept callup. Leave him down, then after 2 weeks next year bring him up.

      • Craig

        I am not sure 2 weeks is nearly enough to delay the service time clock. I think it’s more like 2 months.

        • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

          2 weeks is enough to delay his service clock if he comes into the season with none. 2 months is for super 2 status. So if they kept him down for the 2 weeks they could control him for 7 years, and he would go to arbitration 4 times.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Still one more hurdle to climb and some things to work on. The promotion happening before ASG time is definitely good news, though, for his future.

    Who had him in the “first position prospect to the bigs” pool?

    • Yankee$

      I called him the most important Yankee prospect to watch this year on this blog back in late March early April (right around RAB Prospect Watch selection). Said if he can rake in AA, get promoted, and then handle himself in AAA, and put himself in position to contend for ’15 role in the Bronx that would be the biggest development for the system (but what the hell do I know.)

    • nsalem

      Can’t get straight to the comments but we were both talking about him 10 comments or so down,
      http://www.chatsports.com/new-.....-2-9089332

      He has been discussed a bunch of times since 2012. Dont have the time to go back.

    • nycsportzfan

      I expected nothing but good things outta him since before he was a Yankee. He was one of the rare College prospects I heard about and seen on TV before the draft and was very very impressed.

  • Jersey Joe

    Nothing would make me more happy than a Refsnyder/Sizemore platoon at second with Yangervis at third.

    Whether it’s next year or during September call-ups, it would be glorious. As a member of Team Sizemore, this infield would make me very happy.

    • Yankee$

      That would be an all Right handed platoon at 2B.

    • gbyanks

      why would they platoon rob and sizemore. they are both RH hitters

    • BH

      Refsnyder has been destroying LHP this year: 418/446/658. Not sure how well that would translate to MLB, but as a platoon with Roberts it could work. Roberts has been pretty useless against LHP.

  • RM

    I remember getting laugh at last month when I say he COULD come up at some point this year. Wow a month changes people outlook on him. He will not continue to hit like this and he will not struggle like he did the 1st month. He is somewhere in the middle and that’s better then we have now. The most important thing is that he is young and in much better shape then Roberts. My guess we will see him in the Bronx after the ASG. Cash, knows how weak the trade market is.

    • lightSABR

      I’ll confess: I didn’t think it was likely that he’d come up at all this year, and I’m happy that it’s looking like I’m wrong.

      That said, let’s let him get some AAA games under his belt before we start screaming for a Roberts DFA. We still don’t know how well he’s going to hit at the level, and I’m not really excited about the possibility of downgrading the infield defense.

      So I’ll stick with a conservative prediction: Ref gets a cup of coffee in September. Roberts remains on the roster all year. Unless Roberts finally breaks down like we all expected him to – in that case, all bets are off. (Though I still think there’s a good chance the Yankees would go with Solarte 2B and a Johnson/Sizemore 3B platoon.)

  • Dan

    I hope he gets promoted so he can get added to the Reggie Cleveland All Stars.

  • TWTR

    I was kind of hoping I would get to see him play in Trenton. Without wishing him any harm, Roberts usually hits the DL at some point. If it is after mid-July, and Refsnyder continues to hit, seeing him play in YS woukd be slightly more awesome.

    • Tags

      Agreed TWTR, I have a partial package at Trenton and had hoped to see him 4 more times. But I’m happy for the kid he deserves it. He’s a hitting machine, and a hard worker, you can’t help but pull for him to make it.

  • Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

    Kind of amazing Roberts hasn’t hit DL yet. Wait for that or bring RR up before a long road trip this summer. Less pressure.

    Be great if he developed into a productive starter for us.

    Does he suffer from RISPGIDP disease?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      Girardi has a knack for that: taking injury-prone players and keeping them as healthy as is.

      • Mikhel

        Teixeira and Cervelli say: HI!

  • Dirk Diggler

    What is his ceiling?

    2005 Mark Ellis? (4.3 fWAR)? .316/.384/.477?

    I only ask because I haven’t heard much about his tip top ceiling.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      That’s very, very rich for my blood. I’d say something between Howie Kendrick and Away-Pedroia.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Sorry about the big blob of text, the formatting got messed up somehow.

  • Guest

    For all flack given to the Yankee organization for its failure to develop “high-impact” position players, it has done a great job of developing just “quality” position players that, at the very least, could have roles as serviceable bench pieces.

    The Yankees have targeted college bats in past drafts and it’s a strategy that has actually worked well. Position players like Refsnyder, Segedin (AA), and Dugas (AA) might not have high ceilings, but all have great potential to fill bench roles in the near future (though I suppose we like to envision Refsynder as the future second baseman).

    Long story short: Refsynder’s development (and the development of the other guys) should remind us all that the Yankees scouting department or whatever knows what it’s doing……and that if Jose Pirela isn’t in the MLB yet, there’s probably a pretty good reason for it. So stop complaining and trust the process.

    Side note, here’s an interesting piece on Dugas: http://www.fangraphs.com/fanta.....e-machine/

    • gbyanks

      the last decent positional player to come through the system was nunez and he made his debut in 2010. if you want to count cervelli that was back in 2008. Maybe count almonte but that 1 player in the last 5 years or so. My point is that its been a very long time since a position player even made it to the majors. The yankees have done a poor job of development for the last 10 years or so.

      • qwerty

        Brett Gardner was the last and before him, Juan Rivera, and Jose Tabata.

    • Chris Z.

      Yea I pay 249 a seat per game to see “quality” home grown guys. a few guys like that on the roster is fine, everyone needs them and you simply can’t have all stars at every position but creating quality players shouldn’t be the goal here. They should always be looking for the next long term solution and not be happy with good bench or platoon players.

      • Guest

        The long term solution for the Yankees is always found via max contracts, like Ellsbury, McCann, etc. That’s the way the organization seems to operate – more emphasis on improvements (short term and long term) through free agency.

        Having a strong bench is an extremely important piece of the puzzle, and the Yankees have great success drafting and developing “quality” position players that can fill that role. I don’t see how anyone can be upset by that.

        That being said, you’re correct — developing just “quality” ballplayers shouldn’t be the end goal. But the Yankees have young, “home grown” guys in AAA, AA that could potentially have roles as serviceable bench pieces in the future.

        That’s good development by the Yankees.

      • I’m One

        FYI paying $249/seat is your choice, not the entry price to the stadium.

        Still, I agree that the few times I go to the stadium, I want to see a couple of long term All-Starts playing for my favorite team and staying with them long-term, regardless of whether they’re home grown or brought in via trade or free agency (Cone, Moose, Wells Reggie and others come to mind in addition to Bernie, the 4, Munson, Murcer, Donnie, etc. God, it’s good to like a team that has a winning tradition!).

        • qwerty

          CC, Tex, and Arod are all long term yankee all stars.

    • costanzanumba0

      The Yankees are terrible at developing position players, just leave it at that, producing 1 or 2 bench players in 3 or 4 years is embarrassing. Here’s to hoping they buck the trend.

      • oldranger7

        First of all, the Yankees always want and go after the big name players. How are you going to bring a kid off the farm up to take the place of Tex, Ellsbury, McCann, even Roberts when they are making all the money and are vets.
        Year after year we trade away some very good future major league players for guys on their last legs. Then we go after big name FA…thus, we get no draft picks and lose out on the better players in the draft.
        That’s one reason why we don’t have many positional players coming thru the system.
        Yes, let’s break the trend, it is about time!

        • qwerty

          Are the lost of draft picks really the reason why the yankees don’t acquire talent? Many first round draft picks don’t amount to much anyway, especially past the first five picks or so. The yankees simply don’t know how to scout talent, and haven’t been since Gene Michael was GM.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Let’s hope he’s the real thing, but I’m wondering why he isn’t considered as being behind Solarte, who’s a second baseman in the first place. I agree with the many people who believe Sizemore/Johnson should be our platoon 3B and that Roberts should already be gone.

    • Bo Knows

      Because Solarte is the primary 3rd baseman, and in addition to 2nd base also plays SS and OF

      • gbyanks

        im actually thinking with all of our shifts we could probably get away with solarte as our starting SS next year.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          He’s not going to be any worse than late career Jeter out there.

          • Vern Sneaker

            All the replies assume Refsnyder will be major league quality at 2B. That’s an unknown. Our infield D is awful and Solarte is better at 2B than 3B. Let’s plug one hole at a time. Solarte’s an upgrade over Roberts.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              But is ARod/Ryan?/Solarte better than ARod/Solarte/Ref?

              We’re going to have a SS hole next year, it’s not unreasonable to try to plug that first.

  • Jacoby Eddardsbury

    I’d bring him up and throw him into the fire. It worked with JRM. This kid can come up and learn from Solarte. If he’s good enough to be at MLB then that’s where he should be. With JRM it’s worked because they don’t overwhelm him and he’s up here to learn from McCann and Pena.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      I’m liking the new handle.

    • costanzanumba0

      C’mon, the book is still out on JRM, he needs consistent time some where to develop

    • Daniel

      Being used as a backup catcher is hardly what I’d call being “thrown into the fire”.

  • Robert

    Saw Ref play in Trenton this year,good luck in Scranton. I think he will be in the Bronx soon.

  • Looser trader droids FotD™

    Cashman failed.

  • stuckey

    Is it just me, or from the video yesterday does he have a slight Ron Cey quality to his gate?

    • pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

      Yes. The duck waddle lives!

      • stuckey

        Penguin, but that’ nitpicking :-)

        • pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

          Yes-Cey was The Penguin. My bad. That was some Dodger infield.

    • Yankee$

      It’s not just you. That was my first thought too. Smaller legs, slightly bowlegged, maybe he’ll be Penguin II.

  • mustang

    If they don’t trade for an upgrade by the trading deadline and he continues his success then bring him to the show.

    Funny how the fruitless Yankees farm system of last year is now sprouting buds.

  • Derek “2014 least valuable player” Jeter

    This team isn’t winning this year. Might as well see what our farm system can produce.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      We’re above .500

      We’re by definition, “winning”.

      • Kenny

        But not by Yankee definition.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Sigh.

          It’s June.

          • mustang

            NOOOOO!

            It’s septemeber the playoffs start tomorrow!!!

        • Dorian

          The Yankees have a dictionary?

        • Mikhel

          By the definition the yanks win when their attendance is superior to the same period from a year before.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Not by what Kenny’s daddy told him when he decided to be a Yankee fan.

      • costanzanumba0

        It’s actually a miracle we are where we are considering the injuries and the complete egg laying by McCann. We came into this year not being able to pronounce Yangervis and thinking Tanaka was a number 2 or 3 instead of a 130 wRC+ player and arguably the most dominant pitcher in the league, we’ve gotten very lucky, let’s hope we can now get healthy and put a run together.

        • Michahiro Pinaka

          I had no idea Tanaka was a 130wRC+ hitter.

          • qwerty

            It’s true, that’s how good he is.

    • Daniel

      Even more of a reason to keep the real prospect powder dry and see what guys like Wheeler and Pirela can do.

  • Bryan

    If Refsnyder continues doing his thang (or a slight regression because hitting 400+ is not normal) but does not get enough time in the Majors to lose his rookie status, will he be one of the top prospects in 2015 for all of baseball?

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Said this elsewhere, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes Sickels’ list next year, if eligible.

  • Ed K

    With the infield so weak and unsettled for 2015, a good look at him this year would make sense. Otherwise Cash could decide to sign another Roberts for next year. Give Ref playing time in 2014 if he continues showing good stuff in AAA. After ASG seems right.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      2015 has a weak crop of old 2B, at least we know we have some in house talent with Solarte and Ref:
      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....gents.html

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        Is it just me or did it surprise anyone that Rafael Furcal isn’t older? I was surprised he was still playing.

  • Roy Munson

    I’m excited about this kid, looks like he really hit in AA. A little more power and I think he will be a valuable piece next year

  • Mikhel

    Right now Roberts/Johnson/Ryan are like a wet bandaid from where you were a toddler: you know it doesn’t help and it doesn’t work, but are afraid to take it off because your innards might scape from that little cut in your finger, it ends up being more of a nuissance than helping.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    The dumbest RAB meme ever: the told-ya-so

    “I remember ‘X amount of time ago’ when I said ‘Y’ and people ‘Z’ed’ at me”

    Seriously. Shut the “F” up. You didn’t say Y, or if you did, 10 people agreed, 10 people disagreed and 25 people said “No shit, Sherlock.”

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      Psychology 101.

      People will awkwardly go out of their way to make people think they were right all along.

      These people suffer from insecurities.

      And before someone disagrees, almost every Eddard post since the dawn of time has started with an “i-told-ya-so”

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    When positing the future of Rob Refsnyder for the Yankee organization, one has to account for both the strengths and weaknesses of the team, the trade market and the future FA market.

    Now, clearly we’re having both rotation and IF issues that must be addressed somehow. The most obvious move is to let nature take its course and have Refsnyder battle his way into the starting 2B job when he proves himself ready at AAA. In this scenario, Roberts is either bench fodder or banished to Hades, while Solarte moves full-time to 3B. This would give the Yankees as much stability as they’re going to get in the IF with Jeter firmly entrenched all the way into the sunset. Considering the glaring need both presently and long-term for an upgrade at 2B, this would give the Yankees some stability with cheap, quality ballplayers at 2B and 3B for the future.

    In the context of the FA market, this path also makes sense, as some have already mentioned the relative dearth of quality 2B on the market (and in the league in general). Good middle infielders are hard to come by anywhere, and Refsnyder has given all the indications he could be one.

    And with that in mind, weighing his value on the trade market becomes tricky. Obviously, the other teams’ job is to poke holes in his game in order to lower his value. Questioning his plate discipline and bat speed are probably laughing non-starters in conversation. Refsnyder has seen to that. But based on in-depth scouting reports (to which I admittedly do not have access) I’m sure they will make the case that his ridiculous streak is bound to end and that his real skill level is lower.

    But, the big question as always is “what would he net me?”. Would Refsnyder net a very good SS or 3B prospect like we want? Or a young starting pitcher? Would the prospect we acquire be worth selling the best long-term option we have at 2B?

    At this point I would argue no. His recent promotion aside, other teams are still going to argue that he’s unseasoned and not “MLB ready” (a ridiculously constrained description for a prospect that, if MLB ready, should probably be in MLB). Refsnyder is not (as of yet) a top 100 prospect ala Kolten Wong. His defense is still not very polished.

    Would he likely be a strong inclusion in a trade package? I would argue yes. However I think for now his value is more to the team than what they could get for him. The need at 2B and the holes in his trade value mean that, for now, I’d rather keep him and see what he can do for us.

    LF Gardner
    SS Jeter
    CF Ellsbury
    1B Teixeira
    DH Beltran
    C McCann
    3B Solarte
    2B Refsnyder
    RF Ichiro

    We could be staring at that in a month or two.

  • willie w

    Arizona has a surplus of middle infielders:

    http://arizonasports.com/42/17.....em-to-have

  • Chip

    “Cano played only 24 games in Triple-A before being called up in 2005 because Tony Womack was terrible.”

    Robinson Cano played 61 games in AAA in 2004 after a midseason promotion from AA. He then played another 24 games in 2005 at which point he was called up and Womack was shifted to the OF where he played 66 more games with the Yankees that season.