New York Yankees now top second base prospect Robert Refsnyder continues to surge. The 23-year-old right-handed hitter was on pace to win the Eastern League MVP Award for the Double-A Trenton Thunder until June 9th when he was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Since then, he has shown he is more than capable of hitting at any level.
Refsnyder has already proven to be more than what the Yankees bargained for when they drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Arizona. They never envisioned stealing one of the up and coming elite second base prospects in the game, but it is time to put Refsnyder in the conversation a mere two years into his professional career. Refsnyder has been so good, that the Yankees moved their top second base prospect, Jose Pirela, to the outfield in order to make room for him at Triple-A. Simply put, the kid can flat out hit.
Refsnyder came to the RailRiders amid a 13-game hitting streak at Trenton, and promptly went 2-for-4 in his debut. It looked as if he would continue to roll, but he then hit a speed bump. Refsnyder, who has become known not for just hitting, but stringing together many multi-hit games in a row, went 0-for-12 in his next three games. Also, very uncharacteristically, he struck out seven times over those 12 at-bats. It appeared that Refsnyder may have jumped a level too quickly.
Then, as it did in Trenton, the lights came back on. Refsnyder found his groove again and has been on fire. He has hit in eight of his last ten games, amassing 12 hits over that span. He has gotten his plate discipline back as well, walking 11 times as opposed to striking out eight times. He is now batting .329 with three home runs and nine RBI for the RailRiders, striking out and walking 19 times each. That plate discipline is uncanny at a young age, and can not be taught. More impressively, he has a .408 on base percentage between both levels and has amassed 167 total bases in his combined 307 at bats.
Refsnyder has been held back as he continues his conversion from outfielder in college to second baseman. He was not so slick with the leather, but since his promotion, he has committed zero errors in 78 chances while turning eight double plays. Refsnyder is truly starting to put it all together, and the Yankees may have something really special on their hands. The only question that remains, is when the big club acknowledges it.