Let’s do some hypotheticals.  It’s the end of your mixed league 2010 fantasy baseball draft and you’re looking to fill in the last spot in your outfield or your utility.  You see random fifth wheel candidate that will do exactly what you expect him to do.  Think Juan Rivera, Mike Cameron, Luke Scott, Scott Luke, Tony Luke, Luke Whatever and Travis Snider.  You draft Travis Snider.  This is as much about what Travis Snider can do in 2010 as overall fantasy baseball drafting strategy.  I’ll get to Snider’s projections in a minute.  For right now, let’s talk about why you’re avoiding the fifth wheel outfielder/utility man.  Snider’s potential is unknown.  Snider hits 6 homers by the end of April?  You trade him for a cold-hitting vet, think Lance Berkman or a cold starter, think Wainwright if he starts off cold.  Juan Rivera hits 10 homers in April and no one, including Juan Rivera, will think he can keep it up and you’re not trading him for anything.  This doesn’t just go for Snider.  It goes for players at the end of the draft with potential.  Always be looking for upside.  I’ll touch on this more as we get further into drafting season.  So now about Snider’s potential.  Why is Travis Snider a 2010 fantasy baseball sleeper?

Snider has 1313 at-bats in the minors with a slash line of .304/.382/.533.  I know what you’re thinking.  If Dan Brown books are terrible, why do I keep reading them? Hmm, I thought you were thinking something else.  I figured you were surprised by the number of at-bats Snider’s had in the minor leagues.  It is a lot of at-bats.  A career minor leaguer?  Grey’s hitting the Schnapps! Nope, Snider doesn’t turn 22 years old until February 2nd.  February Grey is actually sending him an eCard right now.  A 22-year-old with that much experience in the minors and that nice of a line is someone to keep an eye on.  The Blue Jays have no reason not to give him every opportunity to succeed again in 2010.  But that doesn’t mean all ball clubs use reason.  They may opt to platoon Snider.  Luckily, he’d get the righties.  If he hits them, he’ll get the lefties.  It’s a gamble, but it’s a good gamble to take.  I’d cautiously project a line of 75/24/85/.265.  He can do what Adam Lind did in 2009.  Probably not, but he’s still far more exciting than the usual fifth wheel schmohawk.

  1. GopherDay says:

    On the Mock we did, you said I drafted too much upside later in the draft. To what extent should you draft upside and to what extent should you not? (If that makes any sense to you)

  2. Eddy says:

    Hey! Dan Brown is my favorite author sir!

    And good heads-up on Snider, I was wondering about him. Although a Nolan Reimold, Rasmus, or Borbon is usually available at the time. Does Snider surpass these?

    Btw, is drafting Bumgarner in the last round worth it or are there better pitchers for last rounds that come to mind?

  3. Tom says:

    I like Travis Snider, but I want to make sure I balance my boring yet solid producers with my high upside dudes. I don’t want to end up with Bruce, Snider, Rasmus as a core part of my outfield that fails to produce, though I’m fairly confident they will.

    Where is Rasmus usually going, and should I take Rasmus over Snider? (I also like the idea of a no-pressure sophomore season for Rasmus, likely hitting in front of Holliday and Pujols)

  4. Nate Marcum says:

    You are spot on with Rasmus’ likely spot in the order, and the idea that he should score runs from that spot in the lineup. The only downside to Rasmus is that he possesses good speed, which will not be taken advantage. TLR, despite what he says, does not like it when baserunners are in motion while Pujols is at bat. Unfortunately living and drafting in St. Louis makes it increasingly difficult to draft any Cardinals without reaching, I will probably be going the Snider route and letting one of the other schmucks in my leagues grab Rasmus a round or 3 too early.

  5. Antrim Warriors says:

    who do you like better, Garrett Jones or Nolan Reimold?

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: It’s a team by team question. I don’t remember off the top of my head, but if you had young/upside guys early on then you can go too heavy on them later on. For instance, if you have Billy Butler at 1st base, Garrett Jones at CI and Stewart at 3rd that would be too much…. Unless you had a really solid outfield. Yeah, it’s hard to say without seeing a team.

    @Eddy: They’re different needs. Rasmus is 20/15, Borbon is steals and Snider is power. Though I like Reimold better. Bumgarner needs a spot in the rotation. If he has one, he could be worth it.

    @Tom: They’re all towards the end of your 12 team drafts. Rasmus is barely ahead of Snider, but slightly different needs.

    @Nate Marcum: Looking at Holliday’s steals in The STL, thinking TLR doesn’t like anyone in motion.

    @Antrim Warriors: Reimold, slightly.

  7. Nate M says:

    I agree on Bumgarner currently not having a spot in the rotation, but probably deserves a shot at some point this year. I can remember last year just about the time when all the “Have you heard of this Madison Bumganardaner” talk started, and than Jonathan Sanchez had to go and throw that no-no….I even had Bumgarner stashed away in a league where we have a minor league spot, just wating to explode.

    Do you see David Purcey getting another shot to start with Halladay gone, or do you think Chapman might sign there and relegate him to the bullpen. Purcey is a little older than I would like, but he has k’s written all over him (but a lot of BB’s as well).

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Nate M: I don’t think Chapman’s starting the year in the majors. Purcey should get a shot to compete but he won’t be anything but a waiver wire grab in most leagues even if he makes the rotation.

  9. eltoo says:

    I’m planning on keeping snider (pending pricing which should be out soon), and already have braun, rasmus, and maybin in my outfield on multi-year deals. Too upside heavy? We have 5 OF spots, so I would still have one spot to fill with a vet to pair with braun to balance out the upside guys. Or I can keep kyle blanks, or matt laporta over snider, both of which have 1B/OF eligibility in my league currently.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @eltoo: I’d keep Snider over those other two. It’s a bit upside heavy, but as long as you get someone reliable int he 5th spot and don’t go too heavy on upside at the corners you should be okay.

  11. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: Ok, I went into this draft without any plan whatsoever, and towards the end I drafted mainly guys I like.

    But here is the team:

    C: Joe Mauer (Rd 1)
    C: Bengie Molina (Rd 13)
    1B: Justin Morneau (Rd 5)
    2B: Ian Kinsler (Rd 2)
    3B: Aramis Ramirez(Rd 3)
    SS: Stephen Drew (Rd 11)
    CI: Adrian Beltre (Rd 14)
    MI: JJ Hardy (Rd 16)
    OF: Carlos Beltran (Rd 4)
    OF: BJ Upton (Rd 7)
    OF: Adam Jones (Rd 9)
    OF: Cameron Maybin (Rd 15)
    OF: Jayson Heyward (Rd 18)
    Util: Julio Borbon (Rd 22)
    BN: Delmon Young (Rd 23)
    BN: Drew Stubbs (Rd 24)

    SP: Dan Haren (Rd 6)
    SP: Brandon Webb (Rd 8)
    SP: John Lackey (Rd 10)
    SP: David Price (Rd 16)
    RP: Joakim Soria (Rd 11)
    RP: Rafael Soriano (Rd 19)
    BN: Joba Chamberlain (Rd 20)
    BN: Stephen Strasburg (Rd 21)

  12. GopherDay says:

    @GopherDay: Here is your what you said regarding my team: “Gopher, your team looks solid, but from the 15th round on you took almost entirely upside. If it works out, great, but it would be nice to get a few guys in there that you knew could produce.”

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: Aramis in the third round looks very early, but you made up for that with Morneau in the 5th. I wouldn’t draft Mauer in the 1st, but you find good value later on. Team will be light on power. I don’t see one guy that’s definitely hitting 30 homers. Morneau’s the closest to a lock to that you have. Maybin, Heyward, Stubbs and Borbon are more or less the same. Overall, your team would be competitive, but power could be an issue. BTW, cool sunglasses on Webb.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: Ah… I looked at this team already. Gotcha… Yeah, “Maybin, Heyward, Stubbs and Borbon are more or less the same.” is too much upside. I don’t like Cuddyer, but someone like him would’ve made your team look less risky.

  15. PhillyYorker says:

    What’s the fantasy outlook for 1B Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals? I see LaRussa hasn’t ruled out havng him on the active roster, so I am wondering what we might expect from the power hitting redhead?

    OMGWTF, is LaRussa bonkers? I know it ain’t gonna happen, but why even float it as a possibility? I’m still in the camp that says Mark bails before spring training. I don’t see him answering the questions.

    Still on the fence between C. Pena and Jayson Werth. That decision is gonna kill me until keepers are due.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:

    @PhillyYorker: Whoa… I didn’t hear anything about McGwire being on the active roster. Are you being serious? Oh, and Werth… It’s not a slam dunk though.

  17. Nate Marcum says:

    TLR responded to a question in a LaRussa style joke. Very bland and difficult to understand! From what I have heard, he was trying to make a joke about McGwire pinch hitting and it was so difficult to tell he was “joking”, people took it and ran with it.

    It’s gonna be interesting to see what becomes of the situation, he has yet to even be seen in St. Louis, from what I have heard.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Nate Marcum: LaDrunkass…


  19. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: Yeah, I see what you mean. My team is very power defficiant. Good thing its only a mock!

  20. cawthonsmsgt says:

    Great comments. Just took over this rotisserie team:

    C Molina
    C Montero
    MI Izturis
    MI Prado
    MI Uribe
    CI Zimmerman
    CI Rolen
    CI Rayburn
    OF Hunter
    OF Stubbs
    OF Span
    OF Pagan
    OF Podsednik
    U M. Diaz
    SP Oswalt
    SP Hanson
    SP Cueto
    SP Feldman
    SP Buchholz
    RP F. Rodriguez
    RP Bard
    RP Massett
    RP Tejeda
    RP Wheeler
    SP Bumgarner
    SP Slowey
    SP Norris
    SP Tillman
    SP Webb

    Your thoughts (aside from the obvious lack of power).

    Offered a trade: T. Snider for C. Tillman. Would you go for it?


  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @cawthonsmsgt: Take followups to the newest post. I have no idea the amount of teams in this league so it’s hard to say anything. I’d want Snider there.

  22. Mark says:

    Grey, currently drafting with a few Razzball guys as well, which is why it follows this article. Keeper league where we kept 9, and the draft is rolling. Team as it stands right now.
    c- V. Martinez
    c- M. Wieters
    1b- Pujols
    2b- Phillips
    ss- Escobar
    3b-C. Davis
    CI- Morneau
    MI- A. Cabrera
    Of- Holliday
    Of- BJ Upton
    Of- Hamilton
    SP- Lincecum
    SP- Halladay
    SP- Wandy
    SP- J. Sanchez
    RP- Bell
    RP- Jenks
    RP- Dotel

    Not too many more picks to make….

    Hitters available…G. Jones, Chipper, Fowler, Snider, Rasmus, Matsui, stubbs, Headley, Coghlan….
    Pitchers available….Hughes, Chamberlain, Sheets, wolf, Blanton, Liriano, Matusz, Porcello and of course, Wood, lidge, Capps Gonzalez
    thoughts? Thanks

  23. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mark: Why are you in this post? Draft G. Jones.

  24. Mark says:

    Covert fantasy Op. If those other guys read that response then Garrett would be gone just to piss me off. I owe you a daiquiri….how does my pitching look. Thanks grey!

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mark: Ah.. Sneaky. You have Lincecum and Halladay.. Your pitching looks tremendous.

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