Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Project Durham Bulls #6: Blake Snell

Blake Snell 2015-2016 Durham Bulls 

Snell first arrived in Durham during the middle of the 2015 season after a dominating first half of the season in Double A and High A.  In Durham Snell made 9 starts for the Bulls going 6-2 with 57 strikeouts in 44 innings and an ERA of 1.83.  For the season, Snell went 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 134 innings.  Snell started out the 2016 season with the Durham Bulls.  I actually got to see his first start of the season on opening night.....

Snell pitched well in Durham last year.  He made a few starts with the Bulls before he was called up by the Rays to make a spot start against the Yankees in April.  Snell was then returned to Durham where he stayed until the middle of June when the Rays called him up for good.  In 19 starts with the Rays last year Snell went 6-8 with a 3.54 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 89 innings.  I'm bullish on Snell's future....

for good reason.  I know a lot of other baseball fans are also high on the Rays hurler.  Snell misses a lot of bats and has several great pitches in his arsenal.  It would be nice if Tampa could get some traction going and build a team around some of the young pitchers on their staff like Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Snell.  

This is my first Project Durham Bulls post where the baseball card has actually featured the player in a Durham Bulls uniform.  It's a hard task, but I am going to try to find as many of the former/current Durham Bulls as possible actually wearing a Bulls uniform.  That generally leaves me with the Pro Debut and Heritage Minor League sets for current products, although some of the sets from the early 2000s and 1990s make it a little easier.  I dig almost everything about this Pro Debut card from last year's set.  It's a great looking action shot of Snell pitching in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  The Snell autograph is a sticker autograph, but I am more than willing to get past it in this case.  

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