By Devon Teeple (@devonteeple)
First-round draft 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.
Travis Snider, who lost the battle for the Blue Jays’ starting left field job, has been optioned to triple-A Las Vegas.
This was Snider’s last option and this once can’t-miss prospect will have to pass through waivers if he’s called up and the Jays try to send him back down again.
It will be very difficult for Snider to stick with the club after this latest demotion.
In hindsight, this might be the best thing for Snider. With the way the Blue Jays roster is currently constructed, relocation might be the best thing for Snider 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 with Toronto and if he does, he better make the most of it because he’s not the first Blue Jay to experience these types of struggles.
Eddie Zosky is a prime example of someone who was good, but just not good enough.
Toronto’s first-round pick (19th overall) in the 1989 amateur draft, Zosky was deemed the shortstop of the future for the Jays. After Tony Fernandez was traded to San Diego following the 1990 season, Manuel (don’t call me Manny) Lee was supposed to keep the seat warm until Zosky was ready.
It never happened.
The “next one” spent five seasons in the Jays system, the majority of it at triple-A while producing very respectable numbers, but not good enough to translate into MLB success.
Zosky managed just 38 at-bats in two stints with the Jays from 1991-92, batting .167 with two RBIs.
He 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.
Zosky and Snider are only a handful of players who/were are stuck in a holding pattern they might not get out of. Remember these can’t-miss prospects?
Name: Todd Van Poppel | Team: Oakland A’s
Drafted: 1st round (14th over-all) 1990
Played: 11 years, 359 games, 40-52, with four saves, 5.58 ERA.
Name: Chad Mottola | Team: Cincinnati Reds
Drafted: 1st round (5th overall) 1992
Played: five years, 59 games with four homers, 12 RBIs (.200/.263/.344).
Name: Travis Lee | Team: Minnesota Twins
Drafted: 1st round (2nd overall) 1996
Played: Nine years, 1,099 games, 115 homers, 488 RBIs (.256/.337/.408)
Name: Drew Henson | Team: New York Yankees
Drafted: 3rd round 1998
Played: Two seasons, eight games, zero homers, zero RBIs (.125/.125/.125).
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 lofty expectations.
When the dust settles, Snider will more than likely have been traded by the end of the year.
And that might be in the best interest of all parties involved.