Yankees’ Rob Refsnyder Is Finally Getting His Shot
With so many roster spots taken up, the Yankees could never figure out a way to get Rob Refsnyder consistent playing time. Now, the versatile 25-year-old’s days in the minors appear to be over after a solid offensive first half.
After the 2015 season, Rob Refsnyder appeared to be the second baseman of the future for the New York Yankees. He was a fan favorite before he even played in twenty games at the Major League level. Then, Brian Cashman swung a deal for Chicago Cubs’ Starlin Castro.
That move had to hurt for Refsnyder.
The 25-year-old seemingly had the keys to the starting job at 2nd base, but it was clear that ownership wasn’t confident in his defensive abilities. With no clear roster spot, he was destined to once again start the season in Triple-A, a level he had already proven to dominate.
After losing out on the final bench spot to the unknown Ronald Torreyes in spring training, Refsnyder’s only option was to play at Triple-A Scranton, even though he was ready for the next level.
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It’s hard to believe that Ref’s first real chance this season came as a result of the first base dilemma, but he adapted. Despite never playing the position at any level of his career, Refsnyder filled in with no hesitation. Even though the Yankees signed Ike Davis, Ref was able to take at-bats away from him and in the long run, stay in the majors, as Davis is now in Triple-A.
In 31 games this season, Rob Refsnyder has a very respectable slash line of .276/.337/.368 and an OPS of .705, which is .177 points higher than Mark Teixeira‘s OPS of .588. Sure, Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez may be getting more AB’s than Refsnyder, but make no mistake, the sole reason is because the two have such large salary commitments.
For many Yankees fans, it was frustrating to see Aaron Hicks, owner of a .197 average, get consistent playing time over Refsnyder, who has proven to be a much more consistent offensive threat. When the Yankees acquired Hicks, he was advertised as someone who hit well against lefties, but up to this point has produced a putrid .155 average against them. Refsnyder has hit for a fantastic average .290 against left handed pitching this year, only furthering the case to get more consistent AB’s.
Manager Joe Girardi has finally understood that Refsnyder’s bat has a place in the Yankees everyday lineup, as he’s been in the lineup in 31 of the team’s last 40 games. Earlier in July, Girardi spoke to the YES Network and mentioned how he appreciated Ref’s willingness to adapt to new positions:
"“This kid has had to adapt to a lot, including a couple of different position changes, but he’s really pushed himself here because he’s made himself more versatile”"
So, what is Refsnyder? Well, he’s turned into the Yankees utility man, and in today’s MLB, they are invaluable. He’s shown a certain level of maturity that isn’t easy to attain at a young age. With so many inconsistencies on the Yankees roster, Refsnyder has shown to be a rock with the bat, and a weapon in the field.
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There’s never been any questions surrounding his offensive production, all he needed was the playing time.
Since he’s gotten it, he hasn’t looked back.