Cole Hamels, the Rangers’ co-ace along with Yu Darvish, has been one...
Fantasy Baseball StockWatch: Orioles OF Travis Snider
There aren’t many fantasy baseball owners left out there who haven’t been burned at one time or another expecting this to be the year Travis Snider breaks out.
He burst upon the scene with the Blue Jays as a 20-year-old in 2008, two years after being taken 14th overall in the 2006 draft. Snider never did much with the numerous chances he got in Toronto before his career bottomed out in 2013 with Pittsburgh, where he triple-slashed .215/.281/.333 with five homers in 111 games.
Last year it was assumed he was just keeping an outfield spot warm until top prospect Gregory Polanco arrived, but after Polanco struggled and was sent back down, Snider flourished. Snider hit .237 with four homers in 171 plate appearances before the all-star break, but came alive to triple-slash .288/.356/.524 with nine homers in 188 PAs in the second half.
Now he’s heading to Baltimore and its hitter-friendly park at Camden Yards, leaving behind spacious PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Orioles are starved for a power outfielder after losing Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis to free agency.
Snider can be a full-time player as he doesn’t have platoon splits – career .308 wOBA against lefties and .315 wOBA vs. RHP before posting a whopping .458 against southpaws last year (albeit in 47 PAs).
With the move to Baltimore, we boosted his projections to .255/.325/.410 with 18 homers in 520 PAs, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see .275/.350/.450 with 25 homers. We moved Snider up to No. 84 in our outfield rankings, but there’s not much separating him from cracking the top 50 and becoming a starter in five-outfielder or AL-only leagues.