Yesterday I posted my pick of the National League rookie of the year (Jordan Schafer- incase you missed it), and this blog features my pick for the American League Rookie of the year.
Now since not many of you guys know me, you likely won't know that I'm from Canada so I get to see more then my fair share of Toronto Blue Jays games on tv. There's nothing wrong with that, it builds a little country pride, and gives me someone to root for when the Atlanta Braves aren't playing.
As many know that Blue Jays haven't been much of a champion threat in recent years, but that could all change.
Meet the cast of characters behind this "resurgence" if you will. Key stars, Alexis Rios, Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay, and Aaron Hill are returning, and they're helping to break in the young 'uns. Guys like DH/LF Adam Lind, and the 2009 rookie of the year, Travis Snider.
The hype has surrounded this kid since the Blue Jays took him in the first round 14th overall back in 2006. Since then he's batted his way through five different minor league levels (Rookie, Single A, High A, Double A, Triple). All the while displaying the great power to all fields.
Here's a quick look at his minor league numbers.
2006- Rookie- 36r, 11hr, 41rbi, 6sb, .325ba, 35bb, 47k, .412obp, .567slg, .979ops
2007- Single A- 72r, 16hr, 93rbi, 3sb, .313ba, 49bb, 129k, .377obp, .525slg, .902ops
2007- High A- 15r, 4hr, 7rbi, .279ba, 1sb, 5bb, 22k, .333obp, 557slg, .891ops
2008- Double A- 65r, 17hr, 67rbi, 1sb, .262ba, 52bb, 116k, .357obp, .461slg, .818ops
2008- Triple A- 9r, 2hr, 17rbi, .344ba, 1sb, 4bb, 16k, .386obp, .516slg, .901ops
So what do these number mean? Well aside from having very good power, and a solid OBP, they tell us that Travis Snider can have some trouble at the plate, especially in the strike out department, after having posted K rates of 24.2%, 28.2%, 36.1%, 32%, 25%, you might begin to wonder if that will limit his potential. Well we're not worried about Adam Dunn or Ryan Howard and their K rates are we? Granted they are proven vets but Jays skipper Cito Gaston has made a commitment to a youth movement centered around Snider.
A player with a strong arm in the outfield, and average range, is by default a left fielder. He'll likely remain their or in the DH role. But with great power (think 25-30hr over 500ab), and an everyday spot in the lineup, Travis Snider will far surpass his late round flyer pick, and could very well end up being this year's Evan Longoria.
Hopefully he moves up in the into the number 6 hole behind Wells and Lind, and ahead of Lyle Overbay, a fearless projection would see him raking these kind of numbers in, 75r, 20hr, 70rbi, 1sb, .275avg. Not extraordinary, but then again I don't like to get my own hopes to high when it comes to rookies.
Travis Snider will beat out other highly touted prospects such as Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles, and David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays in a star studded 2009 rookie crop.