Two Orioles first-round picks, Brandon Snyder (2005) and Billy Rowell (2006), have battled through some setbacks in their young pro careers, but recently are showing no signs of slowing down.
Rowell injured his right oblique during spring training and went to extended spring training to rehab and get back to playing.
“It was pretty depressing,” Rowell said. “You can’t do anything but wait it out.”
Young prospects like Rowell, who was selected ninth overall in 2006 out of Bishop Eustace (Pennsauken, N.J.) High, often struggle with coming back after an injury because they might not suffered one in their amateur careers, especially high schoolers.
“I had little injuries where I’d be out a game or so,” Rowell added. “This was probably my biggest injury.”
Rowell admitted to being tough on himself. He said he’s usually never satisfied with what he’s done and just always wants to get better. He is currently hitting .276/.346/.407 for low Class A Delmarva.
Snyder, the 13th overall pick in 2005 out of Westfield (Centreville, VA) High, has battled a couple of injuries and really had a tough season offensively in 2006. Snyder hit .290 in his first pro season, but, to his own admission, had a bad year in 2006, hitting .213/.251/.340 in 268 at-bats.
His struggles could be attributed to a torn labrum, an injury he tried playing through. He had dislocated it swinging, came back and went through the season struggling, finding out he had been playing with the tear for about six months.
It was a new situation for Snyder as we was also never injured in high school, but he has come a long way back.
“In high school we only play 18 games,” Snyder said. “It’s a lot different and taking care of your body is something I wasn’t used to. I definitely learned my lesson and I wouldn’t take anything back from last year, the surgery or the year I had in general. It was the best learning experience I had.”
To keep his offense on track but give his shoulder rest, Snyder has shifted over to first base, something else that is new for him. He was primarily a shortstop and third baseman in high school and thought the right side always had it easy. He quickly learned that first base has its challenges but he is enjoying it. He is currently hitting .294/.360/.415 in 364 at-bats and splits the first base and DH duties with Chris Vinyard.