Rob Refsnyder: First Impressions Of The Yankees 2B Of The Future
A few years ago, Yankees fans would have pooh-poohed the idea of Rob Refsnyder as its second baseman of the future. Spoiled by an influx of high salaried stars, quality MLB prospects were exiled to second division teams. Refsnyder would have been lumped into this category as he reminds more of Willie Randolph than Robinson Cano. With Stephen Drew atop New York’s depth chart, will the breakout talent be a quality, cost-controlled option for years to come?
In person, Rob Refsnyder is more athletic than expected given his sturdy, but unassuming frame. Expecting a player with limited range given his wide base, the second baseman ranged to his right on a ground ball, changed momentum to tag the second base bag and completed a circus throw to first to avoid an oncoming runner. Completing the throw required above average arm strength. And while this highlighted the defensive look, it’s worth noting Refsnyder was steady in other attempts and will be a solid, if unspectacular defender at the MLB level.
at the plate, Rob Refsnyder walked twice and struck out twice in four plate appearances. This, after the SWB Yankees did cage work in lieu of an on field batting practice session. While this scenario is never ideal, the second baseman displayed patience at the plate and was unafraid to work deep counts. Late in counts, he was adept at fighting off tough, outside pitches. In many ways, he reminded me of a right-handed Tommy LaStella (Scouting Report) with more pop (from watching a bit of his cage work while on the way to the field) and a bit more swing-and-miss.
A wide open stance and aggressive leg kick is the reason for his approaching 100 strikeouts on the season. It appears as if he’s traded contact for pop and it’s worked well for him. Quieting the approach would cut the strikeouts down, but if it’s at the expense of gap power, the Yankees are best leaving well enough alone.
With a .323/.394/.506 triple slash line in the upper levels, Yankees fans will expect Rob Refsnyder to produce immediately. Instead, he’s more of a sum-of-the-parts type of player who’ll grow on the fan base with time. Let’s face it, throwing many millions at aging players hasn’t worked out well for teams in recent years. As a former 5th round pick, Refsnyder is a big win for the scouting and player development department.
Rob Refsnyder: What’s Left To See?
Obviously, a barreled ball or two would be ideal, but knowing an upper level player can work counts and play defense speaks to a high floor. Additionally, Refsnyder legging out an extra base hit or quality home-to-first time is needed to grade speed. Having traveled to see Rob Refsnyder, Dalton Pompey (First Impression Report) and Daniel Norris (Scouting Report TBD), the Yankees prospect was the least complete look of the bunch. However, it’s still possible to glean a little insight from the game and come away thinking New York has themselves a legitimate sleeper.
28 Aug 2014 / Mike Newman /
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