Fantasy Baseball Waiver Worthy: Can Travis Snider Be Viable When He Returns?

Eric StashinSenior Writer IMay 11, 2011

SEATTLE - APRIL 11:  Travis Snider #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays is tagged out on a steal attempt by Jack Wilson #2 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 11, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Travis Snider has been a frustratingly intriguing player for fantasy owners since he first debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008.

For all the hype and promise that has surrounded the 2006 first round draft pick, all he has mustered is a .246 average to go along with 26 HR, 86 RBI and 86 R.

Of course, every time he is banished to the minor leagues, he suddenly rediscovers his stroke; that, once again, appears to be the case. Through his first 40 AB at Triple-A since being demoted due to poor production (.184, one HR in 87 AB), all Snider has done is hit .425 with zero HR, five RBI and 11 R.

There are two questions likely burning in people’s minds:

  1. Is Snider’s minor league performance a product of playing in the Pacific Coast League?
  2. Is Snider simply a Quadruple-A type player?

The answer to the first one is basically a no. He actually has only spent 215 AB in the PCL, out of 1,452. While that may be making an impact, especially currently, it is not the sole factor in his excellent minor league production.

The second question is something we’ve heard about many players in the past (Nelson Cruz for one), and it is honestly impossible to answer quite yet.

It’s easy to get discouraged by Snider’s struggles, but you have to keep in mind that he is still just 23-years old. Can we really deduct if what we have seen over parts of four seasons is an accurate assessment of his abilities?

Players mature at different rates, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that Snider will have a few more opportunities before teams are going to simply give up on him.

There’s too much promise there to just write off.

Obviously, that doesn’t help fantasy owners in 2011. Can we expect him to return at some point? Absolutely! Is he going to finally make an impact? Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer that.

His success at Triple-A, however, should be taken with a significant grain of salt and the reason why can be summed up with one number: he is sporting a .531 BABIP—that’s certainly not going to continue.

Of course, he struggled with a .238 BABIP in the Major Leagues prior to his demotion. Despite a 26.4 percent strikeout rate, there is no reason to believe that he is anything close to a .184 hitter. 

He also has shown significantly better HR/FB rates over the prior three seasons (he was at 4.0 percent in ’11):

  • 2008—13.3 percent
  • 2009—13.6 percent
  • 2010—18.4 percent

I know it’s a frustrating proposition, but, especially in deeper formats, Snider will warrant another opportunity once he’s recalled. That’s not to say that he should be thrust immediately back into your starting lineup, but he is worth stashing and hoping that this time he can finally figure it out.

What are your thoughts on Snider? Do you think he will come around in 2011? What about long-term?

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