Monday, March 22, 2010

The future is now for Travis Snider

There has been much speculation and discussion about whether or not Travis Snider should head north with the Blue Jays to start the season. Let me try to put an end to it: The future is now for Snider and the Toronto Blue Jays. The stocky 22 year old has shown glimpses of greatness in parts of two big leagues seasons and spring training this year to show that the Jays simply need to have him start the campaign as a member of the Blue Birds.

A couple of days ago Snider belted three home runs in consecutive at bats in spring training. His raw power is so astounding that it's a matter of when, not if, he'll break out at the big league level. His situation is not unlike what faced Adam Lind a few years ago. Lind, a silver slugger winner in '09, displayed flashes of brilliance mixed in with inconsistency over the course of a couple of seasons. The organization was patient with him and they were rewarded with a monster year. Snider has all the tools to be a very good hitter, he just needs at bats against major league pitching. The team must be prepared to take the good with the bad, because he'll likely rack up strike outs before he gets more consistent.

The '06 first round pick has a vastly underrated aspect of his game, which is his defense. While he'll likely never win a gold glove in the outfield, he moves surprisingly quick for such a compact man, and makes smart decisions in left and right field last year. Just like patience should be preached at the plate with a young ball player, same goes for his defensive capabilities also.

With another year under his belt, Snider has learned to manage the ups and downs that go along with being a major leaguer. He's more comfortable in his surroundings which should lead to greater results. It's all but a certainty that in due time, the team will have one heck of a ball player in Travis Snider.


Asher said...

Comparing Lind's breakout season with Snider's current situation is not really fair to young Travis. While Snider is showing flashes of greatness, name one slugger outside of Pujols that is ready at 22. Lind was 25 this past season when he broke out, and it took him a good 2+ years of development even then to get to where he is now. Prince Fielder was 23 when he hit 50, and it took him a couple years to be ready. Ryan Howard was 26 when he hit 58, before that he hadn't hit 30. Even Joe Mauer took a good few years to find a consistent power stroke.

My point is don't put so much pressure on the kid! If it doesn't take him another year or so to find it, I would be surprised. In the meantime expect a streaky 2010 with, I'm guessing, 25 homers, 80 RBI with a .260 average. Not bad, but he'll get better as he goes.

Michael Harrison said...

I think their situations are very comparable. Lind had a hot September in his first call up, much like Snider did. Then Lind had middling results in parts of the next two seasons, much like Snider did last year. It was always obvious Lind had it in him, it just took a while. Just like how I feel about Snider...

Anonymous said...

K ACTUAL LAST COMMENT NOW!!! (isn't the baseball blogging world epic?)

I agree that the situations are comparable, I just would not be surprised if it took Snider another full year or two to reach his full potential. Beyond that, the future is very bright, and I think the kid's got a good head on his shoulders.

Michael Harrison said...

Ya I would say that's very realistic for sure. He seems to be a pretty resilient guy so I would not be surprised to see him take the A.L. by storm at all. Snidesy is going to be phenomenal!