"Just go out and play," Refsnyder said. "Compete, and see if I can get better."
It's a simple approach, but one that has paid immense dividends for the former fifth-round draft pick from the University of Arizona.
Refsnyder earned the call-up after tearing through Eastern League pitching this season. Sporting a .342 batting average and 30 RBI on his stat line, he has quickly become one of the most exciting young hitters in the Yankee organization. The numbers say he should have no problem fitting in with the RailRider offense, which led the International League in batting average as of June 12.
But the reality is Refsnyder has to prove himself all over again to a new crop of teammates and coaching staff.
"I was definitely on a hot streak," Refsnyder said. "Things were falling. It was fun hitting in that time period. But now I'm here, and it's a clean slate."
Just like in 2012, after he capped off his tenure as an Arizona Wildcat by being named Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series, he reported to Class A Charleston as a rookie and struggled, hitting only .241 in 46 games.
Looking back, Refsnyder said it was challenging to go from a collegiate atmosphere, where one grows really close to a core of teammates, to the unknowns of the professional ranks.
"Professional baseball, you're just kind of thrown in," he said. "Different age groups, different backgrounds, things like that. There was a great adjustment period."
Since those early struggles, though, Refsnyder has turned into a force at the plate. Especially in Trenton, where he hit at a blistering .430 clip in the 28 games prior to his call-up.
Although Refsnyder finds himself on a new team, he doesn't find himself without any friends. He is now reunited with RailRiders first baseman Kyle Roller, one of his closest pals from the Trenton locker room.
Before Refsnyder took to the PNC Field grass for the first time, Roller gave him a crash course on International League pitching. He said he wants to be a mentor to the third-year player in any way he can, but ultimately Refsnyder will figure things out on his own.
"I just gave him a rundown of how this league works," Roller said. "He's a smart guy. He's going to pick up pretty quickly on how people approach him."
That's the hope for RailRiders hitting coach Butch Wynegar, who said he always worries about the adjustment period between Double and Triple-A.
In Trenton, batters often see a fastball on a hitter's count. Here, they might get a slider or changeup, and Wynegar said the great hitters make the proper adjustments on their own. Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero were two names that immediately came to mind.
Wynegar said he'll spend about a week watching Refsnyder to understand his tendencies and see if the 23-year-old needs to make alterations.
"They'll pitch inside, but if your approach is not to hit inside, you've got to stay mentally tough to not let that bother you," Wynegar said. "He's got a pretty short swing and everything, so I think he'll be okay."
Although Refsnyder is now only one step away from realizing his dream of reaching the big leagues, he's not taking anything for granted. He says he still has plenty of room to improve in all areas of the game, including defensively.
The only way to change that is by getting on the field and, hopefully, helping the RailRiders win games. In any case, Refsnyder is eager to see what lies ahead in his bright baseball future.
"I'm just looking, honestly, to start playing and get used to this environment, the field, the guys," Refsnyder said. "Honestly, I'm pretty excited."
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MOOSIC, PA - Trenton Thunder second baseman Robert Refsnyder was on his way to a family barbecue Monday when his phone started ringing. He answered and, with that touch of a button, became a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider. So on Tuesday, he arrived in Moosic, Pa., not really knowing what to expect. His plan for the immediate future?
Rob Refsnyder, recently promoted to Triple-A Scranton, has more adjustments to make now.