Prospect Profile: Brian Snyder

Prospect Profile: Brian Snyder

Many thought that when the A's traded away third base prospect Mark Teahen, they were doing so because of Eric Chavez's presence at the major league level. However, the fact that they have a Teahen-clone following a year behind the now-Kansas City prospect probably aided in their decision as well.

The similarities between Teahen and A's third base prospect Brian Snyder are remarkable. Both players went to small colleges. Both were considered stretches as first round draft choices by many of the experts. Both had disappointing first professional seasons followed by strong sophomore seasons. Both players are known for their strong gloves. And both are still developing their power strokes. Perhaps the only real difference between Teahen and Snyder are that Snyder hits from the right-side, Teahen from the left. So the question remains, will Snyder, like Teahen, be traded during his third professional season to help bring major league talent to the A's or will he be allowed to develop further in the Oakland organization?

Brian Snyder, Career Statistics

Year

Team

Lg

Age

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

BB

K

XBH

2003

VAN

NWST

21

.253

.409

.315

146

37

6

0

1

39

36

7

2004

KNCTY

MID

22

.311

.421

.484

366

114

18

3

13

67

82

34



Brian Snyder was the 26th overall pick in the June 2003 draft. The third baseman had a relatively low profile in college, a product of being from Stetson University. In fact, he holds the distinction of having the highest draft position of any player from Stetson in its school history. However, despite playing for a small school, Snyder still accumulated a lot of accolades in college. He was named as a first team All-American by Baseball America in 2003, was first team all-Atlantic Sun Conference, and was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the Cape Cod All-Star game in 2002. In fact, it may have been Snyder's play in the Cape Cod league that drew the A's to Snyder. Yet even with all of these accolades, when Snyder was drafted in the first round, many thought the A's had made a mistake.

After Snyder's debut season with low-A Vancouver in 2003, the experts who questioned the A's decision to draft him appeared to be right on. Snyder appeared over-matched in Vancouver, as he struggled to a .253 batting average with almost no power (only seven extra-base hits in 145 at-bats). The only two positive aspects of Snyder's 2003 campaign were his .409 on-base percentage and his solid defensive play.

The A's chose not to rush Snyder during his sophomore season, choosing to start him in Low-A Kane County rather than High-A Modesto. The move paid off in spades. Snyder looked almost like a different hitter. His batting average leapt 58 points, his on-base percentage jumped 12 points and his power re-emerged. Snyder went from only seven extra-base hits in 2003 to 34 in 2004, including 13 homeruns. Those power numbers probably would have been higher if Snyder hadn't missed five weeks due to a strained hip flexor muscle. Regardless, Snyder was – without question – the best offensive player on the Kane County Cougars in 2004.

So what's next for the Stetson University alum? Snyder will most likely start the 2005 season in AA-Midland. If he can show the same hitting prowess and if his power stroke continues to improve while playing for the RockHounds, Snyder could see a promotion to AAA-Sacramento sometime in 2005. The timing of Snyder's advancement may, in part, be influenced by whether or not the A's want to showcase Snyder at the higher levels of the minor leagues as potential trade bait, a la Mark Teahen in 2004.

Snyder is somewhat compactly built and he has a good arm and good footwork at third base. He goes the other way well at the plate, but his real power will only develop if he learns to pull the ball more. At 22 years old, Snyder is right at the beginning of his power development arc. He has an excellent command of the strike zone, so those two elements could result in a monster power year from Snyder in the next year or two. If Snyder does explode on the scene, the A's could think about moving him either to first base or to the outfield. However, more than likely, he will be used as trade bait sometime over the next two seasons.

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