Former Wright State slugger hopes to see game action in 2020

Gabe Snyder was a Midwest League posteason all-star last season

Former Wright State slugger Gabe Snyder saw the news Monday about the Major League Baseball season potentially getting underway next month but did not know what that meant for minor leaguers like himself.

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"We haven't been told anything yet," said Snyder, who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 21st round in 2018, on Tuesday. "It's all up in the air."

Until he knows, Snyder will continue to do what he's been doing since getting sent home in March when spring training was suspended. He often works out with former Wright State teammate Seth Gray, a fourth-round pick in 2019, at The Baseball LAB in Springfield or at Wright State.

Snyder and Gray, two of 15 Wright State players drafted between 2015 and 2019, finished last season season together with the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League.

“We’ve been playing with each other for so long throughout college and now that we kind of know each other’s swings,” Snyder said, “and what we might need to fix every day.”

Snyder, who’s from Millersburg, Ohio, was the Horizon League Player of the Year as a senior in 2018 when he led the Raiders in average (.359), home runs (15) and RBIs (73). In his first season in pro baseball, he hit .261 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 48 games for the Elizabethton Twins (Tenn.) in the rookie-level Appalachian League.

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Last year, playing the whole season with Cedar Rapids, Snyder hit .259 with 19 home runs and 58 RBIs. He tied for second in the Midwest League in home runs and ranked third in slugging percentage. (.462). He was named to the Midwest League’s Postseason All-Star team.

“I was very happy with that season,” Snyder said. “I thought I had a good year. I started off the season hitting for a high average, and the power wasn’t quite there. I don’t think I had very many home runs in the first half of the season but had a lot of doubles. Then in the second half, I kind of took off with the home runs, which was really cool to see, but I also dropped off in my average. So the next year, I’ll just try to get both of them up and improve upon everything I did last year.”

Snyder felt good about how he was playing in the spring. He appeared in three or four big-league spring training games. He expected to start the season with Minnesota’s High Class-A team: the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels in the Florida State League.

While the big-league season appears on track to start, the minor-league season is in jeopardy. Snyder was asked Tuesday what the the best-case scenario for players in his situation would be.

Snyder hopes to at least get sent to the Twins’ spring training home in Fort Myers, Fla., to train with other players in the organization and to play in intrasquad games.

“I’d love to have some games,” Snyder said. “I don’t know if that’s even possible.”

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