Results tagged ‘ Brandon Snyder ’
Could he be the Orioles’ first baseman of the future? Is he still a prospect?
He’s less likely to be the Orioles’ first baseman of the future, now that he’s been sold to the Rangers.
At least he’s been consistent at Norfolk:
I think we can conclude that this is his true level of ability. And, even granting that Norfolk is not a good place to hit, we can conclude that this isn’t going to cut it as a major league first baseman; it’s an almost exactly average OBP+ in Camden Yards. So no, he’s not really a candidate for the Orioles’ first baseman of the future.
He played the 2011 season at age 24; his birthday is in November. He played sixteen games at third base for the Tides in 2011, and all things considered wasn’t horrible. He may improve slightly as a hitter. On the other hand, he’s slow — really, too slow to play the outfield except in desperation. On the whole, I don’t think he’s got much of a chance.
The Tides’ games of Saturday, September 3, and Monday, September 5 were the last games of the 2011 season that I worked. Often, the last games of the season reflect the season. However, these games not only did not particularly reflect the past season, these games were very unusual for any baseball games.
On Saturday, the Durham Bulls took advantage of almost every opportunity Tides starting pitcher Mitch Atkins provided them. It is true that in the second inning, Atkins hit two batters with pitches and Durham failed to score. But in the third inning, Atkins walked two batters before Matt Carson hit a three-run home run. In the sixth inning, Atkins walked Carson before Dan Johnson hit a two-run home run. Immediately afterward, Leslie Anderson doubled and scored on Daniel Mayora’s hit. Those were the only baserunners Durham had in Atkins’ six innings of work.
The Tides batters could not produce much offense against Durham starter Alex Torres and two relief pitchers, and trailed 6-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. Durham brought in Jay Buente to pitch. Buente is probably the worst pitcher in Durham’s bullpen, and the Bulls probably thought that even Jay Buente couldn’t blow the lead. They were right — sort of. Buente walked the first two batters he faced. After a fielder’s choice forceout at second base, Blake Davis singled in a run and Tyler Henson reached on an infield singled to load the bases. Durham decided that they didn’t want to find out if Jay Buente could blow the lead and brought in closer Rob Delaney. Josh Bell crushed a Delaney pitch to the wall in center field, about 405 feet from the plate. The ball was caught, but the runner on third scored and the runner on second advanced to third. The next batter, Brandon Snyder, ran the count to 3-2 and I told the official scorer “Swing-and-a-miss.” I was wrong; Snyder did swing and drove the ball into the left-field picnic area for a game-tying 3-run home run, capping a most improbable comeback.
But that only tied the game. The Tides brought in their closer, Mark Worrell, to pitch the tenth inning. Fairly or not, I remembered Worrell as someone who, after the Tides had come back late in the game to tie or take the lead, surrendered the runs that cost the Tides their win. But on this night, he gave up a mere single and held Durham scoreless.
In the bottom of the tenth, Brendan Harris led off with a ground ball that deflected off third baseman Daniel Mayora’s glove. Shortstop Tim Beckham raced toward the hole, caught the ball, turned and lept into the air, and managed to fire a strike to first base that ALMOST beat Harris to first. After a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball, Jacob Julius hit the sacrifice fly that gave the Tides an unusual come-from-behind win.
I suppose I might have been responsible for making that game-winning run an unearned run. The official scorer’s initial decision on the pitch that advanced Harris from second to third was “wild pitch”. I told him that I disagreed. The scorer looked at the videotape replay and decided to change his call to “passed ball”. It’s likely that if I hadn’t said anything, the initial call would have stood. While I have been critical of team personnel influencing official scorer’s decisions, I believe this to be different because (1) I wasn’t influencing the decision to the benefit of a player or another and (2) I would have accepted his decision not to change his ruling. There’s a big difference between getting multiple opinions to make the best decision possible and ordering the scorer to issue a beneficial ruling.
Is he ready to be Baltimore’s first baseman in 2011? How good a prospect is he?
No, he’s not ready; and right now, he’s a very marginal prospect. Two years ago, he was described as a right-handed-hitting Sean Casey. Last year, I thought he might become a right-handed-hitting Sid Bream. Now, I think he might become a right-handed-hitting Gerald Perry, which has no value.
Over the past season-and-a-half, Brandon Snyder has had 673 AAA plate appearances — about one major league season’s worth. His slash stats — .253/.321/.384. Granting that Norfolk is a terrible place to hit, and especially bad for a player of Snyder’s skill set, a player at that level of production (OPS+ of around 92) isn’t going to cut it as a first baseman. I’ve watched him fairly regularly for that past season-and-a-half, and those slash numbers really do tell how well he’s performed.
Brandon Snyder can be used as the subject of a philosophical debate about minor league promotions. He had had pretty good years at age 20 in Low-A and age 21 in High-A, and was being talked about as a prospect. In 2009, at age 22, he was assigned to AA Bowie, where he hit lights-out for the first two months (.343/.421/.597). It was here that the philosophical debate could/should have occurred. On the one hand, you could argue that Snyder had clearly established that he was too good for AA, and should be promoted to AAA. On the other hand, he was exceeding his established performance level by so much that he should be kept in AA to see if his improvement was for real, or just a hot stretch. Snyder was promoted, and has struggled ever since.
I think that for Brandon Snyder to have a major-league career, the Orioles should send him to AA, and keep him there for four months. For his sake, I hope he has a long period of success and develop habits that become ingrained into his person. Snyder needs to have some sustained success, and I don’t think he’ll get that at AAA or in the majors.
The Tides are on a brief road trip to Durham; they return to Harbor Park for a brief homestand against the Gwinnett Braves Monday through Wednesday. I’m scheduled to work Monday and Wednesday, so I’ll have some timely thoughts on those games.
The purpose of the Norfolk Tides is developing players for their parent team; now, the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are looking to their farm system to provide a first baseman of the future and a third baseman of the future. Conveniently, the Tides have the most major-league-ready prospects at those positions in first baseman Brandon Snyder and third baseman Josh Bell. Many Orioles fans are counting on them to fill the holes and become big-league contributors. Unfortunately, I don’t think either one will be ready soon.
The love prospect watchers have for Brandon Snyder — Baseball America rated him as the #6 prospect in the Orioles system — is inexplicable. At least for those of us who have seen him play at Norfolk. He spent the second half of last season at Norfolk, and he has been very unimpressive. He hasn’t shown any home-run power. He hasn’t been peppering the outfield with line drives. He hasn’t been expert at coaxing walks. Unless he improves, he’s probably not going to score or drive in 100 runs in a season. For a first baseman in today’s game, that’s unacceptable. Think right-handed hitting Casey Kotchman, or Doug Mientkiewicz, without the brilliant defense.
Josh Bell has only been in Norfolk for eight games (seven at Harbor Park), so I’m evaluating him on a limited sample size. I can see why Bell impresses prospect watchers. He’s trim and athletic, “looks good in the uniform.” I’ve been impressed with his defensive range at third base, although he has a knack for stopping hard grounders backhanded and then having the ball drop out of his glove. However, Tides’ hitting coach Richie Hebner needs to work with Bell on his stance and his pitch recognition. Bell, a switch-hitter, has a wide-open stance when he’s batting left-handed. Perhaps as a result, he dives for low, outside pitches, resulting in a lot of swings-and-misses and weak grounders to short. He hasn’t seen many pitches he can drive, so I really haven’t had a chance to see his best stroke. Bell is definitely young enough and has shown enough athletic ability to improve, but right now he’s not a major-league player.