Name: Rob Refsnyder
Position: Second Base
DOB: March 26, 1991
Batting and Power. Professional approach are the two best words to describe Refsnyder at the plate and it's a major aspect that ties all of the necessary ingredients together to be one of the more consistent .300-plus hitters in all of minor league baseball. Extremely patient at the plate and remarkably disciplined, he's up at the plate to look for his pitch to drive into the gaps. He's not just willing to use the entire field either, he's looking to do so in every at-bat. He has the above average bat speed to turn on inside pitches and the ability to barrel outside pitches the other way. His swing is both short and compact, and his mechanics are about as solid as they come. Not a big home run hitter, he does have average big league power but he's more of a line-drive hitter who can rack up a ton of extra-base hits by spraying liners all over the diamond. He draws a lot of walks too and he's a better hitter when the pressure is highest; he hit .326 last year in the eighth inning or later in what otherwise was his worst statistical season at the professional level. Consistent and clutch are the other two apt descriptions of Refsnyder offensively.
Base Running and Speed. Not exactly speedy, grading out as more fringe average speed-wise, Refsnyder's running game can play to a slightly above average level impact-wise with his all-out hustle, ultra-aggressive style of play. A better station to station runner than a stolen base threat, he is judicious swiping bases but he has the wheels to be a solid double-digit stolen base guy over the course of the season, ranging anywhere from 12-20 bags a year. His impact is greater taking the extra base than stealing it, however.
Defense. For years Refsnyder has been wildly criticized for his defensive shortcomings at second base and for the most part they've become exaggerated. While he doesn't boast the plus range of an elite defender, the former college outfielder does have solid range and he's a lot more athletic than he's been given credit for since transitioning to the infield. He shows good lateral movement, he has solid hands, and his arm strength is a plus tool at second base. In fact, he has the arm strength to play both the outfield and third base in a pinch if need be. He still has his occasional mental lapses on routine plays when he over-thinks things but he also has the ability to make the highlight reel defensive gems too. Unfairly knocked by critics as a below average defensive second baseman, he absolutely has the physical and mental abilities to be an average to even above average defender in due time.
Projection. Refsnyder has all of the physical and mental tools to be an everyday big league starting second baseman; plus hitting abilities, plus on-base potential, average power, slightly average speed, average defensive potential, natural consistency, and enormous plus-plus makeup, the kind that team leaders and captains boast. In fact, it's his off the charts intangibles and character [reports surfacing of a character flaw last year were both overblown and erroneous] that even gives him big league All Star potential despite the average power and speed. However, at least initially, short-term he will have to break into the big leagues as a reserve role player after the Yankees traded for Starlin Castro to be their starting second baseman. He has the athleticism and arm to play nearly anywhere on the field, especially the corner spots both in the infield and outfield, and he'll have to do exactly that to get his chances in the Bronx. Increasing his versatility and experience at multiple positions will be key to getting more opportunities.
ETA. N/A. We said a year ago that Refsnyder was big league ready and he got his call-up last season. While a scenario certainly exists where he begins the 2016 season back in Triple-A Scranton to continue working on his defensive game, he really should be in the big leagues; he's a Major League player right now.