If there's been one thing missing from second baseman Rob Refsnyder's game in 2015, it's been power.
As the Yankees prospect continues to work on - and improve - his defense at the keystone position, he's suffered a notable dropoff in power. Not that Refsnyder is known as any kind of major slugger, but he has a career .435 slugging percentage and slugged .497 with Double-A and Triple-A in 2014. In 60 Triple-A games in 2014, Refsnyder had six home runs, five triples and 19 doubles. Heading into Sunday, Refsnyder had two home runs, 12 doubles and no triples in 50 games.
So his home run to lead off the eighth inning of a 4-3 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre loss to Rochester on Sunday was a welcome sight. Refsnyder hadn't homered since slamming two shots on May 17.
Much of his loss of power can be traced to odd home/road splits. Refsnyder is batting .319 with a .369 OBP and .489 slugging percentage in 22 road games, but is hitting .250 with a .341 OBP and .296 slugging percentage at home. All three of his home runs have come on the road.
There's evidence this could be a statistical quirk. Last season, Refsnyder slugged .475 with five home runs in 38 games at PNC Field, his home Triple-A stadium.
One of the reasons Refsnyder has remained in Triple-A this season as the Yankees' second basemen struggle offensively in the majors has been to work on his defense. Refsnyder has made 11 errors this season, only four of which have happened since Game 1 of a doubleheader on April 25. He hasn't committed an error since May 22, a span of 13 games at second base. That streak matches a 13-game errorless streak from earlier this season.
Jose De Paula, a 27-year-old lefthander the Yankees signed this offseason, struck out four in seven innings on Sunday, allowing two hits, one walk and one run. He lowered his ERA to 0.75 in two starts. Catcher Austin Romine homered and centerfielder Mason Williams went 3-for-5 with a double for the RailRiders (31-27, 2nd place in International League North, 1.5 games back).
Elsewhere in the minor leagues
(33-24, 2nd place in Eastern League Eastern, 1 game back)
Shortstop Cito Culver homered, and rightfielder Aaron Judge and designated hitter Jake Cave both added triples as Trenton beat Harrisburg, 5-2.
Infielder Brendan Ryan, playing in his sixth minor-league rehab game since recovering from a calf injury, was 1-for-4 with a double. Ryan is 5-for-20 (.250) with two walks and two doubles overall.
First baseman Greg Bird played in his third game since returning from a strained shoulder that sidelined him since May 7. He was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. He's 4-for-11 in his three games back.
SINGLE-A ADVANCED TAMPA
(29-27, 2nd place in Florida State League North, 4 games back)
Tampa had off.
Eight Tampa players were selected on Monday morning to the Florida State League All-Star Team: righthander Andury Acevedo, righthander Angel Rincon, outfielder Danny Oh, righthander Jonathan Holder, third baseman Miguel Andujar, first baseman Mike Ford, shortstop Tyler Wade and catcher Kyle Higashioka.
(28-29, 3rd place in South Atlantic League Southern, 3 games back)
Leftfielder Chris Breen was 2-for-4 with a double and second baseman Vicente Conde went 2-for-4, but starting pitching Jordan Foley couldn't record an out in the first inning and the RiverDogs fell to Asheville, 5-2.
Foley (1-2, 4.32 ERA), a righthander, allowed two hits, four walks and five runs without recording an out. Righthander Joey Maher (1-3, 2.65 ERA) followed with six innings of hitless relief, and the Charleston pen permitted just three hits in nine scoreless innings after Foley departed the game.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE YANKEES 1
(5-2, 1st place in DSL Boca Chica South)
The Yankees had off.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE YANKEES 2
(3-4, T-4th place in DSL Boca Chica North, 3 games back)
The Yankees had off.