By Matt Mirro, Lead American League Writer
As the New York Yankees head into the All-Star Break there’s a lot to be excited about. They are currently first place in the American League East, three games up on the Baltimore Orioles. They have three players headed to the All-Star Game in the form of Dellin Betances, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner. Two of their key players are now back in the clubhouse as Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller returned from the Disabled List on Wednesday. But it was Friday night’s breaking news that caused an explosion of excitement among Yankee fans.
Right as the Yankee/Red Sox game began YES Network reporter Jack Curry Tweeted that the Yankees will recall top second base prospect Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.
Hearing that Refsnyder will be recalled from AAA and join Yankees tomorrow.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 10, 2015
Refsnyder burst onto the scene last season as he batted .318 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 137 games between Double-A and Triple-A. For a time it seemed that he would make his pinstripe debut last season as the Yankees struggled to get production out of second base but the team held firm on keeping him in the minors to finish out the season. After the Bombers traded away Martin Prado in the off-season many thought he would be the Yankees’ Opening Day second baseman but the signing of Stephen Drew quickly snuffed out those hopes.
Refsnyder was ranked as the number seven overall second base prospect in baseball by MLB.com and put up strong numbers in Spring Training. He batted .364 with a homer and seven RBI while in big league camp but was optioned back to AAA as the team had understandable questions about his defense. Last season Refsnyder, who is still trying to make the transition from his normal position of right field to second base, committed 12 errors between AA and AAA and has so far racked up 13 here in 2015.
But with Stephen Drew giving Yankee fans heart ache (.181 batting average with 12 home runs and 25 RBI) the Yankees have decided to take a chance on the touted young Refsnyder. The 24-year old is batting .290 with seven home runs and 37 RBI through his first 81 games with Scranton. He’s also stolen 10 bases in 11 attempts. The Yankees are hoping that he can provide that spark the all important keystone position has been lacking. With the left-handed Eduardo Rodriguez starting for the Red Sox tomorrow it’s safe to assume Refsnyder will be starting tomorrow at Fenway Park.
Refsnyder’s life story has drawn public attention ever since he began making headlines down in Double-A Trenton. Adopted as a baby out of Seoul, South Korea he grew up excelling at all sports. He attended the University of Arizona where he drew the attention of big league scouts during a stellar performance in the College World Series. The Yankees drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 Armature Draft. He quickly shined in the Yankees system but it was last year that fans in the Bronx began to call for him to join the big league club as the aging Brian Roberts struggled at the plate. Now, his time has finally come and by the reaction on Twitter it would seem he should expect a warm welcome from the Yankee Stadium faithful.