Yesterday the New York Yankees made several roster moves, including the promotion of rookie Rob Refsnyder to the major league roster. Let's check in on where he stands.
Refsnyder was originally selected in the fifth round of the 2012 draft from the University of Arizona. He has been one of the top prospects in the Yankees system ever since, posting a particularly impressive 2014 season (.318/.387/.497 in the high minors) and making his major league debut last year with a .302/.345/.512 run in 43 at-bats for the Yankees.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book
Rob Refsnyder, 2B, New York Yankees
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 205 DOB: March 26, 1991
2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade B
With one and a half good years on his resume in Triple-A, Rob Refsnyder has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. That doesn’t mean he’ll get to play though, at least not in New York, thanks to the acquisition of Starlin Castro from the Cubs. Refsnyder’s athleticism is nothing special but he knows how to hit, showing consistently good strike zone judgment and sneaky power. Worries about his defense hold back his stock. Although he’s not a butcher at second base, his tools (particularly his range) are average at best. Teams want someone with more mobility up the middle than he can offer. The Yankees haven’t bothered trying him at shortstop or third base but he does have some experience in the outfield, where he can hold his own at a corner. I really like Refsnyder’s bat but unless there is a rash of injuries ahead of him, he’s blocked in New York. Grade B-.
Refsnyder opened 2016 in Triple-A with a .293/.336/.398 slash for Scranton, including six doubles, two homers, six steals, and a 9/16 BB/K in 133 at-bats. All of that is in line with his past performance.
There's not much doubt that Refsnyder can be a solid hitter, but where do you play him? He played second, third, and right field this year for Scranton and again, the reports haven't changed much. He is not a total lummox at second but lacks the range and quickness to be ideal at that spot. He played 14 games at third base for Scranton with indifferent results (.906 fielding, mediocre range). He also played five games in right field without embarrassing himself but seems unlikely to have enough power to be an ideal regular corner outfielder
Ultimately Refsnyder may fit best as a super-utility guy, slotting his solid bat in and out of the lineup at various spots, looking for at-bats like this one: