By: Matthew Osborne
Birmingham Barons starting pitcher Scott Snodgress’s time at Stanford was spent in good company.
Snodgress pitched for the Cardinal from 2009-2011, during the same time Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck led the Cardinal football team.
Snodgress, a native of Fontana, Calif., did not take much time to decide on attending the private school in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I mean it was a pretty easy decision once I found out that I was accepted and so I mean I didn’t have to think too hard about it,” Snodgress said about Stanford. “It was kind of a dream come true to be able to go to a school like that.”
Stanford, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, is well-known for their academic challenge.
Snodgress majored in economics and graduated in three years. He took one extra class each semester along with baseball, and Snodgress called it one of toughest times in his life.
“It was really intense,” Snodgress said. “I mean at times, it was really stressful and it was definitely the most busy I had ever been in my life. I feel like I was always either working on schoolwork or baseball, but at the same time it was a great experience too.”
In 2011, the Chicago White Sox selected Snodgress in the 5th round of the MLB Draft. Before draft day, the pitcher did not know where he was going to be drafted or by whom.
“That kind of stuff is really out of your hands,” Snodgress said. “All you can do is focus on pitching well and helping your team in college win games. That was my focus and, come draft time, it was an awesome experience to get drafted early like I did.“
He moved to Double-A and the Birmingham Barons to begin the 2013 season. In two starts against the Tennessee Smokies, he has gone 2-0 with an ERA of 2.77.
“I try and take the perspective of just going out every day and working to get better,” Snodgress said about his move to Double-A. “So that’s what I’ve done and I think it’s really paid off just having that sort of mindset. I feel like I’m continuing to improve every single day, every single time I go out and pitch.”
“I think a process of getting lots of repetitions in and working at it and being intentional about what you’re working towards.“
Since moving up to the Barons, the 6-foot-6 left-hander has cooled the bats of the Southern League. He has an 11-7 in 20 starts and has a 3.88 ERA. In the second half of the season, he is 4-2 with an ERA of 1.77.
Snodgress leads the Southern League in wins.
On July 22nd against the Chattanooga Lookouts, Snodgress was two outs away from a no-hitter. Matt Wallach broke up the no-no with a single up the middle, but that was the only hit he would allow. He went 8.1 innings allowed one hit and struck out five.
Snodgress prepares for every start the same way and he focuses more on the opponent than himself.
“I just sit back and watch the games and kind of take note of what I might see in a hitter’s tendency, then come game time, go out there and do my thing and try and execute what I can so that I’m countering those tendencies that they have,” Snodgress said.
While the Southern League is just a few steps below the major league, Snodgress still continues to work to make a big league roster.
“I’m just focusing on getting better every day, commanding my pitches,” Snodgress said when asked what he is specifically working on to get better. “I mean that’s always a priority regardless of who you are. I don’t think anyone can ever really say at the end of a game, even if they’re the best pitcher in the big leagues, that they’re probably going to say there’s at least one or two pitches, if not a lot more than that, that they didn’t execute well and so I mean that’s a continued process that you’ve got to focus and so I’m working on that and just continuing to try and master all my pitches.”
Barons pitcher Scott Snodgress hopes to be like his Stanford University classmate Andrew Luck and set a professional sports league ablaze.