All-Time Indians: Cory Snyder

Name: James Cory Snyder     Position: Rightfield      
              Number: 27        
Tribe Time: 1986-1990         DOB: 11/11/1962      
Stats G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SB% OBP SLG AVG OPS
Best Season (1988) 142 511 71 139 24 3 26 75 42 101 5 1 83% .273 .483 .272 .756
Career 657 2431 298 595 113 9 115 340 133 642 19 14 58% .283 .441 .245 .724

Cory Snyder had a short career which was never acknowledged awards, but his accumulated time with the Cleveland Indians is rather impressive. He was originally the fourth overall pick in the 1984 draft by the Indians, the start of a long line of great draft picks that included Greg Swindell in 1986, Albert Belle in 1987 and Charles Nagy in 1988. Snyder was a big part of the reformation of the Indians in the 1980's, changing from the Andre Thornton and Rick Manning based late 70's teams to a more successful, defense based team.

After a short stint in the minors, Snyder joined the Tribe in June of 1986. Unlike most 23 year old rookies, Syder was thrust into the starting role, taking over the right field role from Joe Carter, who moved to first. Snyder then started all but three games for the rest of the season, putting a very impressive Rookie of the Year campaign together. Interestingly enough, it was actually the Indians great, Thornton that saw the biggest decrease in playing time with Pat Tabler moving from first to DH. Despite playing just 103 games that year, Snyder came in fourth for the award, ultimately losing to Jose Canseco, who hit 33 home runs and knocked in 117.

While the Indians were never truly competitive with Snyder on the roster, they did put together something pretty special in 1987 with one of the greatest outfields in team history. With Brett Butler in center and Mel Hall in left, the Indians had speed all around and one of the best arms in Indians history with Snyder in right. In his career, Snyder's 63 assists in 587 games in right gives him more assists per game than any Indian since 1920. Overall, he has to be considered not only among the greatest offensive right fielders in team history, but possibly the single greatest defensive player. In addition to his great arm, the trio combined for a .986 fielding percent while playing together. 

In addition to his defense, Snyder set career highs in 1987 that he never would match again in home runs (33), RBI (82) and runs scored (74). His one big drawback that season was his 166 strike outs that lead to a .236 average. In 1988, he turned that around as well, still hitting 26 home runs, but dropping his strike out rate to just once every five at bats, successfully raising his average to .272.

Snyder played just two more seasons for the Tribe and did so at a much lower level than his first three years. His rate stats dropped as did his playing time, pushing him to a career low each season in home runs, RBI and runs scored. In the end, he had a short career in Cleveland, but still ranks 18th in club history with 115 home runs. In fact, he hit 100 home runs with the least amount of games played of any Indian in team history with the exception of Joe Gordon.

With just one year of team control remaining, Snyder was traded after the 1990 season to the White Sox for Shawn Hillegas and Eric King (two pitchers who played a total of 76 games for the Indians). Snyder didn't stay in Chicago long as he was traded again to the Blue Jays before the season was through. With quickly deteriorating skills, he played just two more years before playing his final Major League game in 1994. Although he attempted comebacks with the Padres and Red Sox in 1995, he never made it back to the Majors. In 2011, Snyder joined the Mariners minor league coaching staff and remains a hitting coach in their system, currently at the AAA level. 

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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