With the 2021 season coming to a close, we are going to look back at the year that was for members of the Texas Rangers. The season isn’t over yet, of course, but there are a number of players who are on the injured list or otherwise won’t be playing the rest of the way, so we can start by looking at those guys whose seasons are done, and once the season is over we can include guys who are still in action.
Today we are looking at pitcher Nick Snyder.
Want a positive development from the 2021 season? Look no farther than Nick Snyder. The righthanded reliever was a 19th round pick out of Indian River State College in 2017, threw 19 innings in the AZL in 2017 and 2018, then had a nice year as a reliever for Hickory in 2019. Snyder had Tommy John surgery in February, 2020, and was basically off our radars heading into 2021.
That changed once the minor league season started. Snyder began the year at (now high-A) Hickory, where he put up a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 IP over 10 games, striking out seventeen while walking three, displaying a fastball that was touching triple digits and a wicked slider. Snyder moved up to Frisco in mid-June, putting up a 1.65 ERA in 16.1 IP over 13 appearances, striking out 25 of 62 batters he faced while walking only one. In early August he moved up to Round Rock, appearing in five games, and while he allowed three runs in 4.1 IP, he also struck out five while walking just one.
With Snyder being Rule 5 eligible this offseason, and appearing to be a lock to be added to the 40 man, we began hoping as the summer went on that he would make his major league debut this year. That happened on August 21, when he threw a scoreless inning against Boston. Snyder went on to make three more major league appearances before landing on the injured list with a shoulder issue.
Obviously, having the season cut short means ending on a down note, but Snyder exceeded all expectations in 2021, and went from a fringe prospect to a member of the 40 man roster and someone who looks like a potential major league reliever going forward. He’s a two pitch pitcher, but both pitches are terrific and he commands them well, meaning that he profiles as a potential late inning reliever if he stays healthy. He is someone I would expect to see spending time in Arlington in 2022.