CEDAR RAPIDS — Through all of the malaise and inconsistency this team has had offensively this Midwest League season, one guy has been consistently and constantly productive. Gabe Snyder is that one guy.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels first baseman had a home run and three more hits Saturday night as his club laminated Lansing, 12-4, at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The 24-year-old from Wright State came to town from extended spring training a week into the Midwest League regular season, had two hits in his first game, at least one hit in his first six games and has just kept going. He has a career-best 12-game hit streak after this outburst, which included a single to center in the first inning, a 405-foot two-run home run to right-center field in the second and a single to right in the sixth.
Snyder leads the current crop of Kernels in batting average (.274) and all of the Kernels (including those promoted to high-Class A Fort Myers) in doubles and RBIs. That latter total is just 33.
“The coaches are always with me talking, trying to encourage,” Snyder said. “It’s a process, just a lot of work in the cage. We’re working on something new every day in the cage, it seems like. Just to try and get a good feel for just how my swing is. It’s been a fun time working and being with the guys.”
Snyder isn’t a high-round draft pick (21st round last year) and is an older guy. Who knows if he is truly a prospect or not.
But he plays hard and gives you a good at-bat many more times than not.
“I’d say mostly,” when asked if he feels he has been consistent. “There have been patches here and there where maybe it has not been how I wanted to perform. But, overall, I feel like I’m on the right path.”
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“Despite not being here on opening day, he has probably been our most consistent all-around hitter,” Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman said. “That’s for average, getting on base, power, everything. He has been very good for us all year.”
Cedar Rapids (52-40, 13-9 second half) battered Lansing starting pitcher Juan DePaula for five runs in the first inning and another pair in the second. The Kernels had three total runs in their previous series against Great Lakes.
Coming off a complete-game one-hitter, starting pitcher Andrew Cabezas (4-5) gave up four runs, three earned, in five-plus innings here but still got the win. Jose Martinez and Rickey Ramirez finished up with four innings of shutout relief.
The teams play again Sunday afternoon at 2:05.
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