The Complicated World of Travis Snider

Posted: March 28, 2012 by centennialsports in Baseball

By Tom Ruminski

Limbo or just your regular photo of a Blue Jays team-building exercise?

In the novel Dante’s Inferno, limbo can be described as a place where trapped souls wander for the rest of eternity. They have no home, no defined role, and are doomed to a world of pointless repetition.

For Travis Snider, such is life with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The young outfielder has no home. He is a desolate soul that is trapped between triple-A and the Major Leagues, in the dreaded realm of Quadruple-A. When he goes down to play for the Las Vegas 51’s, the triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, the man is a force of nature. In his last two stints in the PCL league he has posted lines of .337, 14, 40, with an OPS of 1.094, and 327, 4, 42, .873.

On the other hand, when he has gotten his well-deserved promotion he has not been able to translate his minor league numbers to the show. To demonstrate, he has only hit.248 with 28 homeruns, 104 runs driven in and an OPS of .730 over four scattered seasons with the big club.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for the 24-year-old since he was drafted 14th overall by the organization in 2006. Moreover, he has played in 232 games since being drafted but has not been in more than 82 in a single season. Since his first call up in 2008, he has spent part of four seasons with the team and continuously finds himself either being promoted or demoted. This type of activity can be demoralizing for a young player and so far has taken a toll on Snider’s abilities on the field of play.

Snider has all of the potential in the world. He can hit for power, average, find the gaps, run, and play all-three outfield positions. However, he has not yet been able to blossom into the player that many have envisioned. This is in large part to his inability to lay of off-speed pitches and his high strikeout rates. In the majors, Snider has averaged just over a strikeout per game and has a total of 236 over his career. As a result of his struggles, the starting left-field position on the roster was taken by the emerging Eric Thames.

The position battle between Snider and Thames was the talked about event going into spring training. The competition was bound to be fierce, however, many experts believed that it was Thames’ spot to loose. Snider put up a good fight, with four homeruns and a team-leading 16 RBI, but it was his strikeouts that were ultimately his demise. Once again he averaged a strikeout per game with 17 in the 17 games that he played. On the other hand, Thames was solid this spring and won the job with a line of .333, 1, and 7.

So the wandering continues for Snider. Yet another tough pill to swallow in what appeared to be an inevitable demotion. And nevertheless, it also appears imminent that he is bound to be back up in the majors sooner than later. In light of this situation there may only be one way for him to escape the uncertainty that surrounds his professional career.

Perhaps, to escape limbo, Travis Snider must first leave the Toronto Blue Jays.


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