By Jeff Louderback
After a 2012 campaign that saw the Red Sox ravaged with injuries, general manager Ben Cherington strived to improve the depth at the major league and Triple-A levels for this season. Among the moves he made was signing former Orioles first round draft pick Brandon Snyder to a minor league deal.
Like Mauro Gomez did last season, Snyder is making himself impossible to ignore at Pawtucket. After ripping two home runs in the club’s 5-1 victory over Columbus (Cleveland Indians) on Monday, the 26-year-old right-hander hitter has a .338 average with five home runs and 17 RBI and a 1.092 OPS in 68 at-bats.
According to Boston.com’s Nick Cafardo, several Major League teams have expressed interest in acquiring the 13th overall selection by Baltimore out of high school in 2005. Snyder plays both corner infield and outfield spots, and he has a .276 average and a .772 OPS over parts of nine minor league seasons He has 98 big league at-bats for Baltimore and Texas over the last three seasons, including a .277 average and three home runs in 65 at-bats for the Rangers in 2012.
Snyder ascended to Triple-A at the age of 22 in 2009, his fourth full season in the Orioles organization. He made his big league debut in 2010, batting .300 (6-for-20). Snyder showed promise in his 65 at-bats with the Rangers last season.
There is no doubt that Snyder has a Major League future. Though he can play the corner outfield spots and third base, his primary position is first base. If David Ortiz or Mike Napoli encounter injury issues this year, Snyder could make his Red Sox debut. Though he can play left field and right field, his experience at those positions is minimal, so likely the Red Sox would summon someone else (like Mitch Maier, Jackie Bradley or Bryce Brentz) if Shane Victorino lands on the disabled list with back soreness.