If you hate Stephen Drew as much as most Yankee fans do, you're probably pretty well-versed in the world of Rob Refsnyder by now. He burst onto the prospect scene with a strong 2014 season and he's been knocking on the door of the starting second base job in The Bronx since Spring Training of this year. If, for some reason, you need an update on who Refsnyder is and what to expect when he starts his Major League career tonight, consider this your refresher course. Refsnyder, now 24 years old, was the Yankees' 5th round pick out of Arizona in the 2012 draft and the consensus #6 Yankee prospect in this year's IIATMS Top 30. A righty batter and thrower, he's played second base primarily in his pro career and almost exclusively since 2013. His offensive profile is built around the dual ability to hit for high average and get on base, although he has shown the ability to hit for some pop over the last 2 seasons. This year he's currently at .290/.387/.413 for Triple-A SWB, and that line has been trending steadily upward after a slow April.
The defensive side of the ball is where Refsnyder draws concerns. He really doesn't have any standout defensive tools despite being an above-average athlete, and his very sloppy start to the year may have contributed to the Yankees holding him back until now. He's been much cleaner the past 2 months, however, and there are still some who believe he could develop into a league-average defensive second baseman.
Refsnyder is not the highlight-reel prospect that Aaron Judge is, but he's an all-around good player with an above-average offensive skill set and he's stepping into a position where even the slightest improvement from what Drew has contributed will be considered a good thing. The pressure and expectations are low, which is an ideal situation for any rookie, and the future potential is high. If Refsnyder hits and holds his own in the field, he can start to create a long-term job for himself. It's definitely exciting to know we'll finally get to see what he can do tonight.