Travis Snider: Curse of the 'AAAA' Player

Devon TeepleAnalyst IApril 2, 2012

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 10:  Outfielder Travis Snider #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats against the Houston Astros March 10, 2012 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. The Jays defeated the Astros 5-2.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

First-round pick, seven years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, and a grand total of 232 games, 28 home runs, 236 strikeouts and .248 batting average. 

Snider who lost the battle for Jay’s starting left-fielder position, was optioned to Triple-A. This was Snider’s last option and this once “can’t-miss prospect” will have to pass through waivers if he’s sent down again. 

It will be very difficult for Snider to stick with the club after this latest demotion. Eric Thames, who won the job, will literally have to tank for Snider to win the position, meaning that Snider’s value as a once prized prospect is nearing its lowest point. 

In hindsight, this might be the best thing for Snider. With the way the roster is lined up, relocation might be the best thing for him at this point. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed; take Jose Bautista for example. 

There is a chance Snider might get another opportunity this year, and if he does, he better make the most of it, because this is not the first Jay to experience these types of struggles. 

Eddie Zosky is the prime example of someone who was good, but not good enough. 

Another first-round pick (19th) in the 1989 amateur draft, Zosky was the shortstop of the future for the Jays. In an era that saw Tony Fernandez leave the club after the 1990 season, Manuel "Don’t call me Manny" Lee was supposed to keep the spot warm until Zosky was ready. Except that never happened. 

The “next one” was in the Jays system for five years, spending the majority in Triple-A and producing very respectable numbers, but not good enough to translate over into MLB success. Zosky managed 38 at-bats in two stints with the Jays in 1991 and 1992, and batted .167 with two RBI. 

Zosky was your prototypical shortstop of the late 80s and early 90s—no bat, good glove. He was being groomed as the starter, but that never panned out. Lee was the shortstop for the next two years, Fernandez returned in 1993, followed by Dick Schofield and Alex Gonzalez. 

As with anything, this isn’t the first time bad timing or bad luck has reared its ugly head. 

Zosky and Snider are only a handful of players who/were are stuck in a holding pattern they might not get out of:

  • Todd Van Poppel: first round (No. 14) 1990
  • Chad Mottola: first (No. 5) 1992
  • Travis Lee: first (No. 2) 1996
  • Drew Henson:  third round (No. 97)1998
  • Ryan Harvey: first round (No. 6) 2003 

It’s sad when reality rears its ugly head, but that’s life in sports. Regardless of your draft status, how much money you make, or what last year's numbers were, there’s always that chance you might not live up to those lofty expectations. 

When the dust settles Snider is more than likely going to be traded by the end of the year. And that might be in the best interest of all parties involved.


Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.  

Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

**Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities**