With one month in the books, it is time to look at who’s been hot for the Yankees minor league system in April. I know I will keeping an eye on these players to see if they can carry their strong Aprils through to September – and if they can we are all in for some fun.
Robert Refsnyder (2B, Charleston/Tampa): In his first full year of professional baseball, Refsnyder has shown some of the talent that garnered him MVP honors in last year’s College World Series. He returned to Charleston, where he hit .370/.452/.481 over thirteen games, picking up seven stolen bases. This quickly earned him a promotion to Tampa, where he finished April with a ridiculous line of .404/.525/.574 over twelve games. He has ten RBIs, and took nine walks while striking out just four times. Refsnyder has shown himself to be a bit prone to errors, however, but he has also made the move back to second base – a position he played in high school.
Austin Romine (C, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): Romine is getting his chance in the Bronx right now, after a broken hand sidelined Francisco Cervelli, but he started 2013 with a strong April in Scranton. Over fourteen games, Romine hit .333/.391/.405 for the RailRiders. After spending most of 2012 on the DL with back issues, Romine is looking pretty good this year – let’s hope he doesn’t fall prey to the injury curse that has been plaguing the big league club.
Vidal Nuno (P, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): The southpaw starter is also now in New York, due to the onslaught of major league injuries. Nuno was a big part of the RailRiders’ April success, however. He had a 1.54 ERA over his four starts (23.1 innings). He gave up just four runs and struck out 26, allowing just two free passes. Nuno held opposing hitters to a .157 average during that time.
David Adams (2B, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): It has been an interesting road back for David Adams, who put together a solid year in Trenton last year after missing the bulk of 2010 and 2011 with injuries. He has started 2013 off strong, hitting .339/.418/.508 in April, with a pair of homers and six RBIs.
Gabe Encinas (P, Charleston): The RiverDogs hurler is off to a great start, going 3-0 in April with a 0.31 ERA. He held batters to a .160 average and only allowed one earned run over 29 innings. He struck out 23 and walked just nine and has yet to give up a homerun.
Honorable Mentions: Mark Montgomery (P, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): The highly touted relief pitcher went 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA over seven appearances (12 innings) in April, holding opposing hitters to a .175 average. He struck out seventeen and walked just five.
Zach Nuding (P, Trenton): Nuding had to wait until May to pick up his first win, but he had a 2.81 ERA in April, with just eight of his nineteen runs being earned. He struck out 24 and walked nine.
JR Murphy (C, Trenton): After a lackluster 2012, Murphy hit .310/.412/.563 in April, with sixteen RBIs, four homers and six doubles. He walked twelve times and struck out eleven times.