On a night where all the buzz has been the selection of high school pitcher Dylan Bundy by the Orioles with their first pick in the 2011 MLB draft, another former first-round pick by Baltimore is still looking for his chance to prove he belongs in the big leagues.
That of course is Norfolk Tides first baseman Brandon Snyder, who joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Monday morning to talk about his ever-continuing journey toward panning out as an Oriole and becoming one on a permanent basis.
Snyder-the O’s first round pick in the 2005 Draft out of Westfield High-did get a the call-up several weeks ago when the team was in need of position players with several of their starters hurting.
After hitting .276 with five home runs and 16 RBIs for the Tides in 35 games in 2011, Snyder was recalled to the Orioles on May 18th when shortstop Cesar Izturis was placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury.
And combined with an injury to first baseman Derrek Lee when he joined the club, he thought that he might be able to make an impact on manager Buck Showalter and the O’s front office with a lot of playing time.
It was a situation he was really looking forward to and he felt like he was never more ready than he was to show what he could do and that his time was now.
“I feel real comfortable in that atmosphere,” Snyder told Forrester. “I don’t feel like I’m over-matched at all…any day you can get a chance to spend in the big leagues is a good day.”
However, he only saw action in five games only getting twelve plate appearances. He went 2-for-9 at the plate, with the two hits coming in Baltimore’s 8-3 victory over the Nationals on Saturday, May 21st.
The victory and his performance at the plate did take some of the focus off his critical error that allowed two Nationals to score.
It was a play that Snyder felt ashamed of considering how much he considers defense a facet of his game.
“I take a lot of pride in my defense,” Snyder told Forrester. “Obviously on that stage if you make one mistake, people are going to look at that and say, ‘he’s not very good defensively’. But I really feel like I’m a very good defensive first baseman.”
“And I trust that…and I don’t think that is going to be an issue at all.”
But clearly the team felt like there still was things he needed to iron out, and when the team felt like they needed catcher Craig Tatum as the full-time backup to Matt Wieters, Snyder was told he had to wait for his opportunity yet again-getting sent back down to the Tides on May 27th-more than a week after his call-up.
While the move frustrated him, he took the demotion respectably and said he understands that it’s tough to evaluate a ballplayer based on only a handful of looks.
“It’s kind of hard to get a feel for anything when you’re not getting as much action as you might like,” Snyder said. “Hopefully the next time it is a little bit longer.”
And while most players would take a five-game look as a sign of disrespect and let that down, Snyder is confident that he’ll be back up with the Orioles yet again.
But he told Forrester he’s not worried about it…his focus will remain in whatever town he is located in-whether it’s Baltimore or Norfolk.
“You and I have talked before about it before…whereas you start taking your mind elsewhere and start trying to worry about things not under your control…that’s where you get yourself in trouble. So, I’m just trying to finish up here, have a good season and whatever happens, happens.”
And given his pace since returning to Norfolk, including three home runs and nine RBIs in as many games back with the Tides, he could definitely be getting another call-up up I-95 real soon.
And Snyder hopes that Buck Showalter and the O’s front office continue to have the patience and trust in the former first round pick who many have said the team made a mistake in drafting.
“It’s obviously good to be able to come through an organization that has invested money into you and for fans that have invested time,” Snyder said, “and I guess you could say time and patience for me. I obviously have a lot of critics and it’s not something that I have ever really worried about, but I have also been able to have a lot of great fans.”
Snyder continued, saying that’s who he’s doing this for. He’s trying for the Baltimore Orioles community as a whole, not for his own personal gains.
“To be able to get there for them and to help a ball club that needs something…and to try and be a piece of that puzzle is a lot of fun.”
WNST thanks Brandon Snyder for joining “The Morning Reaction” Be sure to follow him on Twitter @SnydRoast29 and check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault for the conversation! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!