TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - From 2012 National Champion at UA to the big leagues in three years.
Robert Refsnyder officially arrives Saturday as he is expected to make his Major League debut with the New York Yankees when they take on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed after the club's victory Friday night that the 2012 5th round pick will be with the Bronx Bombers on Saturday and he expects he'll remain with the team after the all-star break that begins on Monday.
Refsnyder will become the first of the Wildcats from the school's 2012 National Championship team to reach the Major Leagues.
He has shot through the Yankees system batting a consistent .290 in just under 15-hundred at-bats. And somewhere along the way he went from being known as Robert and became simply Rob.
Refsnyder was added to the club's 40-man roster prior to this season and made his first spring training appearance in big league camp. He started the season at Triple-A with a mission to work on his defense at second base. It was slow work at first as Refsnyder committed seven errors in the first month of the season.
However since May 1st he has just six errors and only one of those has come since the turn of June. With the Yankees facing a pair of left-handed starters in their final two games before the break, the club's front office felt like this was the best time to bring Refsnyder up for his initial look.
He'll make his first big league start literally three years and one day after he made his first professional start for the Yankees in Low-A on July 10, 2012.
A career that started just weeks after Refsnyder helped the Wildcats win the program's fourth National Championship, in a College World Series run where he was named the Most Outstanding Player.
So where is the rest of the group of Wildcats known as the Fab Five; The five juniors who spearheaded the title run which saw Arizona win their final 11 games, sweeping South Carolina in the Championship series?
The heart and soul of the 2012 team shortstop Alex Mejia, the highest drafted of the Fab Five taken in the 4th round by the St. Louis Cardinals, is currently stationed at Triple-A Memphis after starting the year at Double-A.
Mejia however now plays more third base than he does shortstop. That could be because he committed 45 errors during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He has just five defensive miscues this season, a campaign in which he's also seen time at second base. Mejia is hitting .271 this season and .257 for his pro career.
Ace pitcher Kurt Heyer was drafted in the 6th round also by the Cardinals and has spent time in Triple-A in each of the last two seasons.
The former starting pitcher is now being used primarily in relief and has a 4.15 ERA between the Cardinals affiliates in Memphis and Springfield. Heyer is three-for-three in saves situations in Double-A this season.
Tucson-native Seth Mejias-Brean, drafted in the 8th round by the Cincinnati Reds, is spending his first full season at Double-A after splitting last season between Single-A and Double-A.
The Cienega-grad was the Reds Minor League Player of the Year in 2013 when he batted .305 with 36 doubles, 11 home runs and 82 RBI mostly in Low-Single A. He's hitting .260 this year at Double-A Pensacola.
Centerfielder Joey Rickard, selected in the 9th round by Tampa Bay, spent all of the 2014 season as a fourth outfielder at Double-A Montgomery. He started this year though back in high Single-A where he played 23 games before being promoted back to Montgomery. He's hitting .314 in Double-A with 11 stolen bases.