KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Youth is served.
It was a big ninth inning Saturday for some young Yankees. Infielder Tyler Wade (20) led off the six-run inning with a single and infielder Jonathan Galvez (24) and outfielder Jake Cave (22) singled to load the bases. Infielder Nick Noonan (25) walked to tie the score and, after infielder Jose Pirela struck out for the second out, infielder Rob Refsnyder (23) singled home two runs to make it 6-4. After a run-scoring balk, infielder Greg Bird (22) hit a two-run homer to right.
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"Our system has a lot of good players,'' Joe Girardi said. "A lot of kids are going to contribute along the way here. That's what you need. We need to continue to have young players come up and contribute. A lot of it has been in the bullpen the last couple of years, but it looks like you're getting some real position players that are coming up too.''
All bat, no field?
Refsnyder, a second baseman, has produced at the plate, going 4-for-8 in four games, but has looked far from smooth in the field. It is similar to how his 2014 went at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He hit .318 with a .387 on-base percentage, 14 homers and 63 RBIs.
"That's who he was last season,'' said one minor-league scout. "Bat is potentially big-league but I don't see a position for him.''
Opposing team scouts in attendance Thursday afternoon in Clearwater for the Yankees-Phillies game raved about Bryan Mitchell, a 23-year-old righty who started for the Yankees and allowed one hit in two innings, striking out two.
"Good curveball, good slider,'' said one. "That's the best arm in their system behind [Luis] Severino."
Mitchell, picked by the Yankees in the 16th round of the 2009 draft, saw his fastball sit at 94 to 96 mph. "Like him a lot,'' another talent evaluator said. "I'm sure they won't do it, but I'd just put him as the [No.] 5 and let him pitch.''