Travis Snider Should Be Here to Stay

August 29, 2008 at 7:38 am Leave a comment

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“We’re going to play the kid and see what he’s got” said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston after 20 year old #1 prospect Travis Snider‘s contract was purchased from Triple-A after they traded veteran Matt Stairs to the Phillies. Gaston is doing the right thing and Snider should be here to stay after his one month audition.

Snider is a stalky 5’11”, 245 lb guy that is very athletic for his frame. He was the 14th overall selection in the 2006 draft out of high school.

Snider posses plus hitting tools across the board. He has plus power, a plus bat for average, and plus patience. Here is a scouting report from the scout I trust the most, Keith Law:

The word on Snider out of high school from his detractors was that he was stiff, slow, a little heavy, had bad knees and so on. The word on him now is that he can flat-out hit, and his detractors have shut their mouths for the time being. Snider sets himself up well to hit for average and power, with a low load, a simple swing and a very short path to the ball. He’s got some loft to his swing to drive balls out, with plus power already, but will shorten up to go the other way on offspeed stuff. He’s a solid-average runner and has at least a 60 arm in right field. He has a good idea at the plate, and his contact rate should improve as he develops. This was a steal of a pick at No. 14 in ‘06; among hitters, only Longoria (No. 3 selection) looks better right now.

Snider was ranked 7th on Law’s top 100 prospect list, 11th on Baseball America’s list, and 5th on mine.

Snider hit .275/.358/.480 with 31 doubles, 23 homers, 91 RBI, 89 runs, and a 61/154 BB/K rate in 487 at-bats this year at 3 stops. In Triple-A he hit .344/.386/.516 in 64 at-bats before his call-up.

In his prime he should be no worse than a .300/.375/.550 guy with 30+ homers and and a good arm in RF. He has the ability to be more but I am trying to be a bit conservative on the 20 year old.

Gaston said that Snider will rotate between left and right field and will receive some playing time as the club’s designated hitter. Snider is also scheduled to take part in the Arizona Fall League in October. The call-up won’t hurt his arbitration clock at all unless they don’t plan on using Snider as a starter next year out of Spring Training. Snider is the future of the Blue Jays lineup and should settle in as the #3 hitter before his 23rd birthday.

Check out his homerun stroke here from the Eastern League Homerun Derby:

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
Gaston quotes taken from bluejays.com

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