Travis Snider Mans Up in LF


Travis Snider put on a defensive show yesterday.

In the 5th inning he earned an outfield assist, forced a runner to put the brakes on early rounding third. Later in the game he got a great jump on a potential gap liner, making a difficult catch look easy.

Past & Present

The original book on Snider coming out of the draft was a lack of defensive skills & even mobility, perhaps pushing him to 1st or DH.

I echoed this statement myself in the early days of Mop Up Duty, trashing Snider’s D out in RF on numerous occasions.

While I still believe Travis isn’t cut out for RF, he could become an asset in the LF. From the naked eye, Travis seems take better routes and gets eaten up by less balls in LF as opposed to right.

The stats are on board with LF, although the samples are super tiny

Using Total Zone/135 & UZR/150


Snider’s LF development in the hands of E5?

Could EE’s multiple E5’s and just out & out poor play force Bautista out of RF and back to 3B? (and thus shift Travis over to RF)


It’s a possibility. Last years demotion, off-season FA release and low cost re-up signal that the Jays aren’t too high on EE.

I’m sure Edwin will be given multiple opportunities to stick at third. It will take time to get a read on John Farrell’s tolerance towards poor defensive play. If EE finds himself leaving 3B at some point (to DH, trade, etc) the Jays may have some options other than Jose. Lawrie is gearing up in AAA and Jayson Nix may have bought himself a short audition at third with his play during game #2.

In a perfect world Snider sticks in LF, Bautista continues to man RF and the EE or someone else steps up defensively at third.

While it’s safe to say we’re all still waiting for a breakout with the bat, positive contributions in LF would add greatly to Snider’s value and overall bottom line.

(Note: Images AP, Google Images, stats via B-Ref, Fan Graphs)

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  • Early

    Yes, Snider saved Cecil from destruction in the 5th inning and kept the game close with his defensive play.

    Throwing out the runner at home by 20ft set the tone for the inning. He spooked the third base coach and embarrassed him.

    Minnesota might be the worst coached team. Gardenhire’s lack of substitutions were confusing. His bullpen use was questionable too.

    Jays should have won that game. Too many double plays and missed chances (2nd and 3rd with 1 out failing to score). They let Minnesota off the hook too often.

    • Minnesota’s D in the 9th (Young’s catch against the wall in LF and Span’s awesome grab of the Escobar liner) let them sneak out the win.

      If one or two of those balls drop the Jays at minimum tie, and probably win.

      Good comeback by the Jays in the 9th, even without the desired outcome.

  • Early

    Minnesota defence has come along way in the last couple of years.

  • peteypuck

    Snider’s speed has been underrated by the fans since day 1. Watch him go 1st to 3rd and steal bases this year. He has lost a ton of weight since he was signed, at least 12 pounds since 2010. He has an above average arm. He is above average throwing and fielding in left, more than adequate in right.The case can be made that he is a 5 tool player, playing left field with a good arm and ungodly power…what do you want?

    No way Bautista goes back to 3rd. the Ninja is great for making verbal commitments to guys
    that aren’t in the contract. And keeping said promises.AA has promised EE 600 AB’s.He has made the RF promise to Bautista.I’ll bet my favourite jersey that Bautista stays in right and Rivera gets flushed sooner than later.

    AA will let EE play himself off of 3rd, or show he can handle it. Me I’d have Nix at 3rd NOW, instead of Rivera in right or DH’ing. I’m better with Nix at 3rd & EE DH’ing, until Laurie is ready.