Blue Jays take Travis Snider with 14th Pick

The draft finally arrived on Tuesday, June 6th. With their first pick, the Blue Jays' took Everett, Washington native and product of Jackson High School, Travis Snider. It marks the first time the Jays' have selected a high school talent under General Manager J.P. Ricciardi. An interview with Snider's high school baseball coach is coming up for Premium Subscribers to read.

As it has been projected for the past few days now, the Blue Jays selected Travis Snider 14th overall in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Snider, currently a right fielder, could move over to left field or first base, but make no mistake, his projection with the bat is high. A left-handed hitter, Snider is arguable one of the top hitting prospects in the 2006 draft class and the Blue Jays are more than thrilled to have him in the organization.

Snider was a highly recruited football player until his sophomore season. On the last play of a scrimmage that took place the final day of spring camp the unthinkable happened. Snider broke free was running towards the end zone. He had run 35 yards, and was five yards short when a defensive player came from behind and took out his ankle. As a result Snider fractured his right fibula and tore tendons in his ankle. The injury also caused him to miss his sophomore baseball season, but he worked his way back into shape as a junior. However, late in the season Snider found out he was ineligible to play in Jackson's final regular season football game (a contest that would decide which team gets a playoff berth) because he didn't meet practice requirements, falling one short due to a fall baseball tournament he participated in.

Following that game he thought long and hard about his future and with scouts telling him the chances of being a high draft pick in the 2006 were strong, he decided to hang up his football helmet and focus on baseball. The decision was a tough one for Snider who hoped to be a two-way player in college. It was a very emotional moment for Snider. When he told his football teammates about his decision he broke down and cried.

This season Snider led his Jackson High School club to the Seattle Class 4A State Championship title. Earlier this month he was named the Top Baseball Player in the State. Snider led Jackson's potent offense, batting .526 with 11 home runs, 43 runs batted in and a 1.118 slugging percentage.

Make no mistake about it. Travis Snider is an outstanding player on the baseball diamond from the moment the umpire yells ‘Play Ball' to the moment the game winning handshakes take place. However, Snider has a rare leadership quality for a high school senior. He was put in charge of running practices this season and he basically worked with the other 15-plus members of his team three times a week. He gathered his teammates together and each player pushed the other to his limit. It's not a coincidence with Snider's leadership Jackson High were undefeated State Champions and ranked second in the nation.

Snider was also a personal hitting coach for kids ages 9-to-16.

Snider has committed to play his college baseball at Arizona State, however, many area scouts believe he is committed to turning pro at this stage.

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