ROOKIE WATCH: TRAVIS SNIDER, TOR – OF

I liked Travis Snider the first time I saw him. This 5’10” 245 pound lefthanded hitter out of the great State of Washington can rake. When professional hitter, Matt Stairs was shipped off to Philadelphia, it was time for this kid to get the callup.

I missed this 20 year old’s debut, but tuned in the Blue Jays game last night with an eye on Snider. Travis did not disappoint. The Minnesota Twins, who are in a fight with my White Sox for a playoff spot, might’ve won last night’s ballgame if it were not for Travis Snider.

The rookie found himself in an unusual position in the lineup, batting 9th. But came through when it counted most, hitting against closer Joe Nathan, with two outs, down by a run, he lined a hard single to rightfield, and when the rightfielder bobbled the ball, the tying run scored from firstbase.

Where was replay??? In the bottom of the 10th inning Alex Rios ripped a one out triple to leftfield. However upon further review the TV replay clearly showed Rios’ flyball hit a speaker beyond the wall and then careened straight down, and off the fence. As the leftfielder crashed into the wall, Alex streaked into thirdbase, where he died as Nathan wriggled off the hook.

Then Travis found himself in a position to help his team when he stepped to the dish in the bottom of the 11th with the game knotted at four. Scott Rolen was on 2nd after a leadoff double, Snider lined a single just in front of a sliding leftfielder Jason Kubel, who made a nice play to keep the knock from being a game winner. This hit showed the kid hangs tough against southpaws as he got this one off Everyday Eddie Guardado. John McDonald was the hero a few moments later hitting one over the centerfielder’s head for a walkoff single.

This guy looks like a guy who gets better as he moves up the ladder. He batted .279 at Class A Dunedin, .262 with 17 homers at Double A, then .344 in 18 games at AAA, and is hitting .333 thus far in the bigs.

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