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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17: Rob Refsnyder #64 of the New York Yankees in action against the Seattle Mariners during a MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

2015 Season in Review: Second base

Over the next couple of weeks, the Bronx Pinstripes team is going to review every player’s season on the 2015 Yankees… the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was not a great position for production but second base featured some good, some bad and some ugly.


Stephen Drew

“Swing hard. So if you hit, you hit it hard” appears to be the quote the Yankees’ primary second baseman Stephen Drew lived by.

In a year that the 32-year-old Stephen Drew hit 17 home runs, it felt like pulling teeth to watch him come up to the plate day in and day out. His approach to the Mendoza line received numerous cheers on social media and he finished the year just over it, with a .201 batting average.

On April 13, 2015 in Baltimore, the Yankees trailed against the Orioles in the seventh inning by a score of 4-2. Reliever Tommy Hunter came in the game and Chris Young started the inning with a single. John Ryan Murphy worked a full-count walk and with two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury hit an infield single that loaded the bases. Early in the game, Brett Gardner was hit by a pitch on the wrist that bothered him throughout the game. With the injury, .150 hitting Stephen Drew came on in a pinch-hitting role. On a 3-1 count, Stephen Drew took Hunter deep for a game-changing grand slam.

Fans kind of liked him for a little while after that.

In over 400 chances, Stephen Drew committed just seven errors as he was a great fielder by comparison to his bat. Though, that was not a high bar to get over.

After a slow pair of months to start the season, his numbers began to pick up.

On August 30 in Atlanta, the Yankees took part in interleague baseball and put up 20 runs on the Braves, a team well out of contention. It took 112 games but Stephen Drew surpassed .200 for the first time in the year (and the crowds go wild!!) with a 4-for-4 night with three runs scored and a two-run home run.

A ground ball that caught Drew in his attempt to field it truly rattled his cage. On September 9 against the Baltimore Orioles, a Gerardo Parra grounder caught Drew on the side of the face. He got the runner but the long-term implications took its toll. Drew was diagnosed with a vestibular concussion that ended his season.

Were the numbers eye-popping? Only the home runs in relation to the batting average. He provided efficient and sometimes game-changing defense at times. He provided what he could, take from it what you can.


Brendan Ryan/Jose Pirela

Utility infielder Brendan Ryan is consistently heralded for his glove more than his bat and that lived up to it this year too. He amounted to five runs batted in over 29 games when he made a plate appearance as a second baseman. The 25-year-old Jose Pirela is being paired up with Ryan because he simply did not have much playing time at second base. He appeared at second base in 21 games and was a .250 hitter with one home run during his time there. He contributed to the team but was far from an impact player in the grand scheme of things.


Dustin Ackley

At this year’s trade deadline, players like Price, Cespedes and Cueto moved but the Yankees made one move that appeared to be under-the-radar when they acquired the versatile Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners.

During his 23 games with the Yankees, Ackley hit four home runs, three when taking the field as a second baseman.

His .288 batting average during his time with the Yankees earned him considerable amount of starting time through the end of the year. He was one of the more consistent bats during times that the team struggled as a whole with the bat.


Rob Refsnyder

Free the man! Let the kids get a chance. What do we have to lose? The many ways to say let Rob Refsnyder have a chance in the major leagues at second base.

The kid, 24-year-old Rob Refsnyder got his chance when a series in Boston featured two left-handed starting pitchers. After a hitless season debut on July 11, he had his big day on July 12. After getting his first hit, a single to center field; Refsnyder got another first, a two-run home run that ended up being the difference in the win in Fenway.

His taste of major league baseball was a brief four-game stint where he hit .167 with one home run.

He faced a bit of a slump on his return to AAA and Refsnyder did not return to the Yankees until a week into September. On September 24, the Yankees began a stretch of games with the Chicago White Sox that featured left-handed pitching. He answered the call by getting a base hit against Chris Sale, no big deal (kidding).

Over a nine-game stretch to the end of the season, Rob Refsnyder was 11-for-29 (.379) with three doubles, a home run and three runs batted in.

His success towards the end of the season earned him the start against tough lefty Dallas Keuchel in the Wild Card game that the Yankees ultimately lost.

It appears that the best result the Yankees could have asked for in the absence of Stephen Drew came to fruition. What could have been at this point is not worth bringing up anymore.

It will be hard for the Yankees to not give Rob Refsnyder a chance to win the second baseman job in next year’s Spring Training and based on recent news, it sounds like it will be his to fight for. With the latest reported information regarding the Yankees’ second base situation, barring a free agent signing or trade acquisition, the 2016 Opening Day starting second baseman for the New York Yankees is already on the roster.