WASHINGTON - Brandon Snyder, 33, was drafted as a catcher out of Westfield High School in Northern Virginia in 2005 by the Baltimore Orioles.
Fifteen years later, after a career that included stops with five Major League teams playing first, third, and outfield, Snyder returned to catching more on a regular basis this summer as part of the 60-player pool for the Washington Nationals.
“He put himself in the conversation to catch more,” Mark Scialabba, Assistant General Manager, Player Development, told Federal Baseball on Monday.
“This was a great opportunity for him.”
Snyder has been working with Triple-A manager Randy Knorr, a former catcher in the big leagues, and Michael Barrett, the catching coordinator in player development who broke into the majors as a catcher with Montreal in 1998 and played 12 years.
But Snyder offers more than just the ability to catch – he was a seen as a leader at the alternate site in Fredericksburg this summer.
“He is really a unique individual in that he is someone that still takes it upon himself to care about others,” Scialabba said.
Snyder caught just one game in the majors – with Texas in 2012.
But Snyder is more than an emergency catcher and leader.
“He can still play. He puts up professional at-bats. He has power from the right side,” Scialabba said.
He last played in the big leagues with Tampa Bay in 2018. Snyder also spent time in the majors with Baltimore, Boston, and Atlanta.
Last year he was at the Triple-A level in the Washington system and hit .257 with 31 homers with Fresno.
Scialabba said the alternate camp will wind down Tuesday and Wednesday morning as the Nationals send some of their prospects to Florida for something they hope is close to Instructional League.
“First and foremost, we wanted to help prepare players to be ready to help the Major League club,” Scialabba said of the alternate site. “Secondly, we wanted to make sure each of them could continue their development best as possible.”