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Frobby

Brandon Snyder's .349/.431/.667 AFL Season

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That heading almost says it all -- Brandon Snyder is going to be a stud.

Let's start with this: there were approximately 216 players in the AFL this fall. Of that group, Snyder was the 14th youngest. He was also one of only about 30-40 players who had never played at AA or higher. In short, he was one of the youngest, least experienced players in the league.

Then add in the fact that Snyder had no opportunity to get into rhythm. He played in 17 of 36 games, and played on consecutive days only one time. Several times he played after sitting for two consecutive days.

Despite those handicaps, Snyder not only put up his .349/.431/.667 line, but he did it in outstanding fashion. On the seventeen games he played, there was only ONE GAME in which he failed to reach base. And, in 72 plate appearances, he struck out only 9 times -- once every 8 times he came to the plate. Those numbers would be outstanding under any circumstances, but they are especially impressive when you consider his sporadic playing time.

I'd be remiss if I didn't compare Snyder's 2008 season with Nick Markakis' 2005 season. Both were 21 years old at the time, turning 22 in November:

At Frederick -- Markakis .300/.379/.480, Snyder .316/.358/.490

In Arizona ---- Markakis .326/.408/.453, Snyder .349/.431/.667

Now, I am not meaning to suggest that Snyder is quite as far along as Markakis, or that he will be as good a hitter. He doesn't have Nick's plate discipline (though he's improving), and I conveniently left out Nick's five weeks of AA where he hit .339/.420/.573. His defense is nowhere near as good as Nick's, and in fact, he's a liability in the field right now.

But I do mean to suggest that Snyder is a tremendous hitting prospect, and that it wouldn't shock me if he ends up being as good as Nick with a bat in his hands. The concerns that he doesn't have enough power to play a corner IF spot or DH are totally unfounded in my opinion. He's going to be an XBH machine, though maybe more of a doubles hitter than a pure HR hitter.

I've been watching Snyder like a hawk beginning last fall in Hawaii, and what I've noticed is he is nearly immune to cold streaks. He was extremely consistent throughout Fall 2007 in Hawaii, and in Fall 2008 in Arizona. At Frederick, he had a cold spell to start the season but hit .300+ every month from May-August. Simply put, this guy can rake.

So let me make my bold prediction right now: Snyder is going to put up a .900+ OPS at Bowie next year and be in Norfolk or Baltimore by the minor league all-star break, and we'll be seeing him in Baltimore next September. Book it!

Edited by Frobby
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Holy crap. I had sort of lost track of how he was doing. This is quite impressive. It's "only" 72 PAs but when you look at his numbers going back to last season like you have, it's apparent he can just plain hit. With the power coming around and plate discipline improving, he could be a force.

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Thanks for the info. Hope your predictions come true. P.S. don't remember him being such a bad fielder during the time leading up to the draft. I seem to recall that they said this kid could play all over the diamond.

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Thanks for the info. Hope your predictions come true. P.S. don't remember him being such a bad fielder during the time leading up to the draft. I seem to recall that they said this kid could play all over the diamond.

Here's something interesting that Snyder said in his AFL blog:

I know what I need to do and I believe it has a lot to do with my defense. Out of high school I was one of the top three defensive players in the draft and I don't believe I have lost that. I just need to get more comfortable at the positions im playing and go from there. Everyday I am at the field I work at both first and third to make sure im getting better each day.

http://aflorioles.mlblogs.com/

One thing is for sure - Snyder is very coachable and has a very good work ethic. I have to believe that eventually he'll be at least presentable on defense, even if he's a work in progress currently.

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Brandon Snyder is like finding a $100 bill in your pocket that you thought you lost a couple months ago. I'm as excited about Brandon as I am about any prospect, save Wieters.

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Brandon Snyder is like finding a $100 bill in your pocket that you thought you lost a couple months ago. I'm as excited about Brandon as I am about any prospect, save Wieters.
I don't think I have ever found a 100 dollar bill in my pocket.

hahaha

Anyways, I agree with CrimsonTribe: Very excited about Snyder.

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I just read Tony's bio write up on Snyder. It had the following snipet:

Was considered a solid shortstop and among the top three high school hitters in the draft, but moved to catcher his senior season and showed that he could handle life with the tools of ignorance on.

I'm not going to suggest that he can play SS in any respect, but if the Orioles feel he has regained enough arm strength to handle third, does he need to be limited strictly to that position? Second base perhaps?

Just a thought.

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Nice to see this effort from Snyder. Some of us have been saying he would be a quality hitter for over a year now.

I hope he starts to get some of the recognition he deserves, but I am not sure if experts care too much about the AFL. If not, we can take solace from the number Snyder put up against, likely, the best pitching he has faced as a pro.

More important than the recognition, hopefully he spends the next few months working on his defense. I am surprised to hear it is such a negative and hope and expect he can remedy that very soon.

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I don't think I have ever found a 100 dollar bill in my pocket.

Found a squeaky clean fiver in mince the other day. :)

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If Snyder pans out and could be an everyday 1st or 3rd baseman this would really be a huge step for the O's.

Many wondered why the O's took him this high in the draft but they must have seen something.

I am sure rooting for him!

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At Frederick, he had a cold spell to start the season but hit .300+ every month from May-August.

I don't think it was a cold spell so much as the normal adjustment to a higher level. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he went through the same adjustment to a more difficult league this year at AA, and if everyone here starts tearing out their hair because he isn't producing right away.

It's the old deal of ignoring the first 100 ABs at a new level.

If I had to bet, I think I would bet on him succeeding at AA, but with a trajectory similar to the one he had last year at Frederick.

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I don't think I have ever found a 100 dollar bill in my pocket.

I used to have the habit of hiding hundreds of dollars tucked into books on my bookshelves. A couple of years ago I found $300 years and years after I must of put it in there. It had been so long I had forgotten I had ever done it. Needless to say I was one happy camper. Took the wifey out to a nice Restaurant.

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I think what people fail to realize about Snyder is that he is very much on a good track to reach the majors, despite a major setback due to injury. I think most people, including myself, tend to think of Brandon as a little behind in his development because of one poor season. But when you realize that he is around the same age as Matusz, Posey, G. Beckham, and Smoak, he is actually ahead of the curve, for these guys will probably start in Single A, whereas Brandon is starting in Double AA Bowie this year. A good year at Bowie for Brandon and he could very well take over for Mora in 2010 (firstbase will be blocked by Tex :D ).

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For the Orioles to really take the next step into respectability they need for guys like Snyder to burst onto the scene in a big way. A couple of guys a year coming out of the minors could really help us out.

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