MLB Spring Training 2012: Why Travis Snider Will Earn the Job in Left Field

Bill FordCorrespondent IIIMarch 10, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 8: Manager John Farrell #52 congratulates Travis Snider #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays after the Blue Jays defeated the Indians 11-7 at Progressive Field on July 8, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Travis Snider showed up for the 2012 spring training with a new attitude and a new energy. He is playing the game from his heart, trying to earn his way into a full-time spot.

In a game last week, he produced, performed and delivered, leading the Blue Jays to a win over the Pirates, sweeping them on a two-game series in the Grapefruit League.

The Blue Jays and the Pirates were tied at three in the fourth inning, and Snider hit an RBI single. In the sixth inning he drove in two runs, giving the Jays an 8-3 lead.

Snider had a difficult 2011 season, being demoted to the minor leagues twice. While back in the minors, he worked with hitting coaches and made changes in his batting mechanics to make him more effective and consistent at the plate.

Clearly, it is too early to claim that he will have a breakout season because of one great game in spring training, but it is a good indication that the changes that he made have been effective for his hitting and for him mentally.

He said that batting practice can get monotonous, but he works hard and performs the necessary drills to be capable of making good decisions, getting himself back into game shape.

Snider is competing during this spring training against Eric Thames for the full-time position in left field. If he continues to perform and produce consistently, and if he continues to deliver for the Blue Jays producing RBI and getting on base, he will probably win the position that he covets.

He has worked incredibly hard putting in extra practice time, and has changed his attitude dramatically during this offseason. His drive and determination are producing strong results.

Unless there are some drastic changes, his 2012 season looks to be solid.