It was eerily similar to another rookie infielder who was playing his first game. It also took place on the road. The result, however, was slightly more spectcular and timely. Rob Refsnyder was just called up to play second base for the AL East leading New York YankeesSaturday against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.
New York was up 6-4 in the top of the ninth with one man on when Refsynder, 24, who had singled in the seventh for his first MLB hit, turned on an Alexi Ogando fastball quicker than it took to reach the plate.
The Yankees are enjoying a youth renaissance with Dellin Batances and Brett Gardner, both Yankee products, going to this years All-Star Game. Refsnyder was brought in for a two game look to see what they had. Its the only way to blood young talent and often no matter the results, an experienced eye can see if there is something worth holding on to.
The hitting ability and overall lack of fear brought to mind another Yankee player who debuted in Jacob’s Field in Cleveland in 1996. Derek Jeter hit a home run against Dennis Martinez, made a nifty play in the hole at short, and closed out with an back to the ball catch of a fly ball heading for a safe drop. One can see the same confidence in Refsynder, who showed power to go along with his hitting potential at a position the Yankees sorely need production at. Ref also flipped a pass to Gregorius which resulted in a force out that recalled images of Jeter’s famous flip in 2001.
One can see the beginnings of a possible emerging of young talent that may form into the new nucleus of the Yankees of the late 2010’s. It was very much so in the late 90’s when a few players started emerging together and launched the last Yankee dynasty.
Whether exact or similiar, Refsnyder is going to be the subject of a lot of serious discussion over this break. The future may not be near but it is not that far off either.