Snider Likely To Start At Double-A

Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider will likely skip high Class A Dunedin and head right to Double-A New Hampshire to start the season.

"It’s almost completely decided that he’s going there" said Blue Jays farm director Dick Scott.

Snider, the Blue Jays’ top prospect and the No. 11 prospect in baseball, hit .313/.375/.525 for Lansing last year as a 19-year-old in the low Class A Midwest League.

"He’s a young guy, we don’t want to rush him through the system," Scott said. "But Travis is the type of guy who makes those adjustments quickly."

After the season, Snider excelled in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .316/.404.541 in 98 at-bats despite being the second-youngest player in the league.

"He’s done will (in spring training) against major league pitching," Scott said. "When he takes batting practice, even our big league players stop and watch.

"Emotionally Travis can handle that. He’s a very solid young guy, he’s got a good approach at the plate and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by things. There’s no reason not to send him to Double-A."

Scott said the more advanced pitchers in Double-A should accelerate Snider’s development as a hitter.

"I think he’ll see better pitching, better arms, better command," Scott said. "It’s going to help his game. He already has a good strike zone as a hitter. Obviously there’s going to be some older guys in the league who know how to change speeds and throw their off-speed pitches behind in the count, stuff that fools a lot of young hitters."

Snider should become the second player drafted out of high school in 2006 to reach Double-A. Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw, who also skipped high Class A, became the first to do so last year.