Scouting Yankees Prospect #6: Rob Refsnyder

The New York Yankees selected then outfielder Rob Refsnyder in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of Arizona. The former College World Series MVP has been big league ready offensively for a while now and he's been smoothing out his defensive game to become a more complete all-around player.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Rob Refsnyder
Position: Second Base
DOB: March 26, 1991
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Refsnyder has been the epitome of consistency ever since he was signed by the Yankees and it's due his advanced combination of superb patience at the plate, excellent pitch recognition and strike zone discipline, and not only his ability to use the whole field but his willingness to do so. He truly excels at taking what the pitchers give him and not trying to do too much at the plate, and when he combines that with his short, compact swing he has the ability to be very good against both fastballs and offspeed pitches, and draw a lot of walks as well when pitchers try to nibble against him. All of it spells high-average, high on-base hitter and he has moderate average big league home run power too, the kind that could rack up a ton of doubles and extra-base hits down the road.

Base Running and Speed. He's not a burner by any means but Refsnyder is able to allow his rather average running speed to play a level higher due to his high baseball intellect, high energy and ultra-aggressive style of play, especially as a station to station runner. He should be a double-digit stolen base threat each year but it's his impact taking the extra base on sacrifice flies and balls hit into the gaps that will really help the team.

Defense. Refsnyder's defensive shortcomings at second base have been a bit overblown by critics. The fact is he is actually quite athletic in the field, showing good lateral range to both sides and soft hands, and can make the highlight reel defensive plays look routine at times. However, a former outfielder, while he shows above average to plus arm strength at second base, he does tend to get himself into trouble making throws over to first base either on the double-play pivots [due to limited experience at second] or simply rushing his throws in general. It is an aspect of his game that should be ironed out in due time, especially given his high baseball intellect and tireless work ethic. He is more than serviceable defensively at second; he has above average defensive potential long-term.

Projection. With plus-plus makeup, plus hitting and on-base abilities, long-term average or better defensive abilities, and an average or better power-speed combination, Refsnyder has the physical and mental tools to not only be a big league starting second baseman someday but one with true All Star type potential. There's a Derek Jeter-like aura about him too, one who shows natural leadership abilities, a knack for coming up big in tight spots, and possessing the all-important and least talked about sixth tool -- consistency. There will be some short-term hiccups, especially on the defensive side until he finds his stride, but long-term he has the chance to be a special impact player.

ETA. 2015. Refsnyder has been big league ready offensively for some time now. There's still some defensive progress needed to be made from a consistency standpoint but there's little else holding him back from having a big league impact.


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