Hot-hitting New York Yankees prospect Rob Refsnyder's chances at making it to the big leagues in 2014 were already slim, but the acquisitions of Stephen Drew and Martin Prado have sealed the deal for this season and maybe next as well.
General manager Brian Cashman has already said his wish was to keep Refsnyder in the minors this season to finish out the year playing second base, which is a position he recently switched to. However, Cashman was considering Refsnyder in an extreme situation should he need an outfielder, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
"I've been pretty consistent about Refsnyder, that my intention is to have him play his year out at second base," Cashman said. "I have played a little bit with him in the outfield just in case we had to pull that rip-cord, but now I'll have him focus solely on second base the rest of the way."
Cashman has already said Prado will play in the outfield despite being a career infielder, and Drew will assume second base for the first time in his career.
Refsnyder could have cracked the major league squad as either an outfielder or second baseman, but now that Drew and Prado have joined the team, that leaves no space for Refsnyder on the roster, and that could be the case in 2015 also.
It could happen if the Yanks keep Drew to play shortstop for the retired Derek Jeter, slide Prado to second and recently acquired Chase Headley remains as the team's third baseman. Refsnyder would be the odd man out in that instance and what looked like a near certainty that the youngster would join and even start for the Yankees next season isn't so certain anymore.
He may end up being a utility player at best, switching between the outfield and infield when needed. Of course there is a chance Prado remains in the outfield, in which case Refsnyder will have an opening at second to potentially get an everyday job. However, that's only if the Yanks don't sign a power-hitting outfielder, which is something they are in desperate need of.
On the bright side of things, Refsnyder not getting the starting job will help take some pressure off of him and allow the former College World Series MVP to ease into the majors next season.
No matter how you slice it, Refsnyder's future in the Bronx has become a bit more cloudy.
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