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The Sports Daily > Burning River Baseball
Meet the Newest Indian: Rob Refsnyder

Rob Refsnyder began playing baseball for the Arizona Wildcats in the Pacific 10 conference. He earned All-Pacific-10 honorable mention in his freshman season. He was named the most outstanding player in the 2012 collegiate World Series after batting .476 for the Wildcats.  However, “Ref” as most New Yorkers refer to him, also played basketball and football for his high school in Laguna Hills, California. He played many different positions throughout his baseball career including first base, second base, shortstop and third base most recently.

Refsnyder was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2012 draft and was converted from the right field position into a second baseman role.  The most interesting fact is that he is just the fourth player in MLB history from South Korea to play in the Major Leagues following Jung-Ho Kang, Hee-Seop Choi, and Shin- Soo Choo. The Yankees assigned him to the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A Atlantic League, where he made his professional debut. A year later, he was promoted to the Tampa Yankees, where he tore the cover off the baseball with a slugging percentage of .404 between the two levels. Moving to the 2014 season, Refsnyder began the year with the Trenton Thunder, as his main focus was to work on his swing making the necessary changes to increase his power. He would also work on his defensive abilities before being called up in the second half of the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders, the Yankees AAA affiliate. The Yankees would offer him an opportunity to compete for a spot on the major league level in 2015, but would never be a regular in their lineup for circumstances that are unknown.  But with the returning Carlos Beltran from injury, the Yankees again reassigned him to Scranton where he finished with a batting average of .225.

He has shown that given the proper time to develop at such a high level, he can be a utility infielder for whichever club needs a fill at that position. He would spend a majority of his career in New York being optioned back and  forth between the MLB and the MiLB, so his means of being consistent at a higher level of play would nonetheless be nonexistent. Refsnyder was designated for assignment on July 19, 2017 with just a measly batting average of .135 in thirty seven at bats for the Yankees. His average in AAA was significantly better at .312 in thirty eight games before being DFA’d. However, he was traded to the Blue Jays for Ryan McBroom just a few days later and was sent to the International League’s Buffalo Bisons. On July 29th, he was called up to Toronto replacing the injured Troy Tulowitzki, and made his debut against the Los Angeles Angels acting as a pinch runner in a 6-5 loss. Finally, on November 20, 2017 he was claimed off waivers by the Tribe. The hopes for Refsnyder remain high as he has not been able to bat consistently for a major league ballclub, so it remains to be seen if he would have any success at all.