2005 Draft Preview: C, Brandon Snyder

The countdown to the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft continues here at PinstripesPlus.com. Once again, we are about to look at one of the top draft prospects in the country. Now, let's examine high school catching prospect, Brandon Snyder.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Brandon Snyder
DOB: November 23, 1986
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Centreville, Virginia

Every year, there is usually one high school catcher that catches the attention of every Major League organization. Maybe it isn't totally because that every team has him on top of their lists, but simply because catchers with big time skills and potential that has yet to be filled are hard to come by at 18 years old. In this year's draft, that catcher is going to be Brandon Snyder out of Westfield High School in Centreville, Virginia. With tremendous pure hitting ability and developing tools and intelligence behind the plate, the right-handed hitting Snyder looks like a shoe in for the first round.

At the high school level, you won't find too many players as focused on the task at hand than Brandon Snyder. In fact, that just might be the very reason that he will likely remain behind the plate for the long haul. Although he has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Louisiana State University next spring, most expect that Snyder will bypass college and sign with whoever he is drafted by. And as it has already been said, this young catcher knows exactly what he has and what an honor it is to have it. "Little things like getting in trouble at a party or not doing well in school are things that can hurt you," Snyder told the Washington Post. "I don't go out with my buddies and do all the crazy stuff normal 18-year-olds do. I don't eat fast food or go to a lot of parties. I'd rather be in the batting cage. Sometimes it stinks because you isolate yourself from a lot of friends. It's really hard when everyone is going somewhere. But at the same time, they don't have the things to look forward to that I do."

But, the only real thing that is left for Brandon Snyder to show is how he projects best. In his high school career, he has actually played most of his games as a shortstop. On the other hand, from what scouts have seen, his future is behind the plate. "He was playing shortstop. He's projected as a catcher," said Dana Brown, the Washington National's scouting director. But, to Snyder, catching is also just fine. "Catching comes naturally to me," Snyder explained. And simply because of the MLB scouts' interest to see him behind the plate, he has received more playing time there this spring. For his coach, Chuck Welch, it hasn't been a problem. "Brandon has been there for us now for four years and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to help Brandon in any way I can, as long as it fits into what's good for the team," he told the Washington Examiner. Needless to say, Snyder's stock has done nothing but gone up this spring.

Out of any player in the country, there aren't too many that seem to have captured the imaginations of scouts the way that Brandon Snyder has. Most of his games draw representation for over half of the Major League organizations. And, often times here in 2005, scouts request for the Virginia catcher to take early batting practice. Not only has Snyder obliged but impressed as well. On one specific afternoon in April, a scout gave Snyder's coach a box of 24 Major League baseballs and by the time he was finished only three of the baseballs remained on the field. The rest had cleared the 24 foot wall that was also 330 feet away in left field. Once again, scouts came away happy. For the year, scouts have been happy with the results he has put up. In 2005, Snyder is batting a lofty .547 with 3 home runs and 29 RBI in 53 at bats.



















Batting and Power. One of the best pure hitters in the country, Brandon Snyder brings a lot of tools with him to the plate. Although he did not put up huge power numbers in 2005, most scouts project him to be a big power threat at the professional level. He has tons of pop in his bat with his short, crisp right handed stroke. He appears to be the type of hitter that could hit for an extremely high average though. He makes good contact and his plate discipline is very good as well even though he is a young hitter. The ball explodes off his bat and he has the makings of a fantastic offensive catcher.

Base running and Speed. Considering the fact that most catchers are stereotyped as not exactly being speed demons, Brandon Snyder defies this assumption. The fact is he is slightly too slow to be a shortstop but has above average speed for a catcher. He is most likely not going to be a base stealing threat but he is far from a liability on the base paths. He runs the 60 yard dash in 6.9 seconds.

Defense. The defense of Brandon Snyder has really drawn the scouts to be most interested in him. He might not jump out at you quite as much as a shortstop, but as a catcher with his offensive skills, he becomes an outstanding draft prospect. Scouts are incredibly impressed with his ability to call a game behind the plate and take charge. The 6' 2" catcher handles his pitchers very well and takes his responsibility extremely seriously. His arm is a also slightly above average. All in all, he has the makings of a well above average big league catcher on defense.

Projection. It appears he will permanently be moved off of shortstop and head behind the plate. This only helps to add to his value. His work ethic and focus on his baseball career are second to none among players his age. Often times that is the key to young players. With the skills he has, it is hard to imagine him failing as a professional player. Brandon Snyder looks like a future all star catcher in the making.

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