RHP Jason Snyder: "All Business"

APPLETON, Wisc. - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have had a fairly successful season thus far, but a few questions have arisen. One of these questions is the consistency of the pitching staff. While the team has quite a few prospects on the mound, very few have shown the type of consistency the team was hoping for entering the season.

As of May 11, the T-Rats pitching staff has struck out a Midwest League-low 211 batters and have allowed 128 walks, third-highest in the league. Yet, they remain near the top in earned run average.

One of the bright spots for the Rattlers' pitching staff has been hard-throwing right-hander Jason Snyder. Through May 11, Snyder has posted a 4-3 record with a 2.93 ERA. And he leads all Rattlers' starting pitchers with 27 strikeouts and just seven walks in 43 innings pitched.

"He's a guy we can give the ball to every fifth day and he's proven so far that he's going to carry the load for us and give us a good outing," said Rattlers' manager Scott Steinmann. "I expect good things from him every time out."

One thing that makes Jason Snyder a unique ballplayer is his very serious demeanor. While many of his teammates are more laid back and jovial, Snyder radiates a much more serious personna.

"He's a quieter guy," said Steinmann. "He's a little more independent guy who does his own thing."

"He has a lot of fun but he understands how to separate the business from the pleasure," said pitching coach Brad Holman. "And he does a very good job of that and when he gets to the ballpark he's all business."

Snyder is very consistent on and off the field. His business-like attitude is evident on the mound. The Utah native is a fierce competitor who is very aggressive on the mound.

"He's very competitive guy who attacks the zone, throws a lot of strikes and never gives in," said Steinmann. "He's not afraid of getting behind a guy, and he's very aggressive in the zone with all of his pitches."

"I believe in going right after the hitter," Snyder said of his approach. "I would prefer them to hit a ground ball, because it can turn into a double play very fast."

One of Snyder's keys to success is the great movement on each of his pitches. According to Holman, Snyder has a very "heavy baseball," meaning he gets a lot of sinking action on his pitches. This sinking motion makes it difficult for hitters to get a good pop on the baseball. It also allows Snyder to pitch for contact rather than trying to simply overpower hitters. And the results have been impressive.

The 22-year-old puts a great deal of preparation into each game he pitches, and that pro-active approach has paid off; he spends countless hours studying the different hitters that he will face, and devising ways to succeed.

"He does a very good job of preparing himself," said Holman. "He's an intellectual kid and likes to approach his game with a plan."

Snyder seems to have the complete package - a combination of both physical and mental tools necessary to succeed - and he's very mature with a firm grasp for what needs to get done, executing his plan very effectively.

With his intelligence and strong commitment to the game, expect great things from Jason Snyder in 2005 and in the years ahead.

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