Baltimore Orioles: Was Brandon Snyder Truly Given a Chance to Shine?

Corey HanleyContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2012

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Outfielder Nolan Reimold #14 (left) of the Baltimore Orioles is congratulated by Brandon Snyder #29, after his second inning home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at McKechnie Field on February 28, 2011 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

When the Orioles drafted Brandon Snyder in the first round of the 2005 draft, they knew the risk they were taking. They had just missed out on getting Jay Bruce, so they decided to take Snyder, a high school catcher.

High school players always come with a great level of risk. Billy Beane is a perfect example of a player that never panned out in the majors. Now, it seems that Brandon Snyder has fallen in with Billy Rowell as a first-round bust for the Orioles.

Snyder's career as a catcher began horribly, but when shoulder injuries moved him to first base, he blossomed into a promising young hitter. With a solid combination of power and average, Snyder tore up the low minors. It was only after being promoted to Triple-A Norfolk that Snyder began to struggle.

Snyder had very little power and began to lose playing time as other first basemen flew past him to the majors. Michael Aubrey, Rhyne Hughes and others were playing their way into opportunities in the majors and Snyder was struggling.

Now, the Orioles have Chris Davis (who is the same age as Snyder) at first and Mark Reynolds is right behind him. With Jai Miller coming onto the 40-man roster, someone had to go and the logical pick was Snyder. He has not shown signs of becoming a good enough hitter to play consistently in the majors and has too many players ahead of him on the depth chart.

The good news is that the Orioles were at least able to get some cash in return for Snyder, instead of losing him for free on waivers.