Checking in with Brandon Snyder (Givens to Delmarva)

Afternoon update: The Orioles are sending Mychal Givens, their second-round draft pick last year, to the Delmarva Shorebirds. Tyler Kolodny has been transferred to Aberdeen's roster.

The 20-year-old Givens will join Delmarva on the road in Hickory, North Carolina.

Now back to the Brandon Snyder story -

It's only four games.

But it's four games where the hits have fallen in for Brandon Snyder, the Orioles possible first baseman of the future, who has had a mostly rough 2010 season for Triple-A Norfolk.

Over his last four games, Snyder is 6 for 15 with three doubles and six RBI.

In a phone conversation Monday afternoon, he told me he feels his bat is coming around, his mental outlook is better now and some earlier hitting issues are now behind him.

"I feel like I left spring training with a little bit of a, I don't know if you call it a hitch or whatever you want to call it, but there was something in my swing not working for me.

"It's taken me longer than usual to kind of find that and fix it, but now that I've fixed that I feel a heckuva lot more comfortable at the plate. Things are starting to fall for me.

"Early in the season I was hitting a lot of balls right at people. I'm still hitting some balls right at people, but I'm hitting the ball harder on an every at bat basis. So I'm giving myself a better chance for hits. I'm ready to turn this thing around and start having more fun."

After hitting .343-10-45 in 58 Bowie games last year, Snyder moved up to Norfolk, but hit just .248 in 73 games.

Then he began this season slumping as well.

"There was no excuse. I just wasn't performing. I let a lot of stuff from last year get to me, like the field, stuff I have no control over, I let bother me. I took that into my at bats.

"Plus, I got a little too pull happy. Normally I'm a guy that drives the ball the other way well. I did some things in spring training and tried to pull the ball more and it didn't work for me. It's taken a while to get off of that."

He is batting just .217-2-19 in 42 games on the year with 41 strikeouts in 143 at bats. But at least now he feels confident his numbers are about to start trending upward.

"I could have easily had three hits each in the last few games. I've hit some balls at people and that's frustrating. But I try to look at quality at bats rather than the hits. I am trying to focus on quality at bats."

While he struggled earlier in Norfolk, so did O's hitters, especially first baseman in Baltimore. He couldn't help but think if he had gotten off to a fast start, he might be in the O's lineup now.

"Going out of spring I was confident and ready to go. I understand what is going on up there. I'm happy to see guys called up but also understand that's a job that could have been mine.

"You can take it two ways. Either let it bother you and sulk about it or keep working harder to try and get your own shot. I can't wish it to happen, I have to keep working and get this thing turned (around)."

Snyder said roving hitting instructors Mike Bordick and Denny Walling have been helpful, especially with the mental part of the game.

He also said teammate Jeff Salazar, who has played in the Majors with Colorado, Arizona and Pittsburgh, has taken time to help as well.

"He pulled me aside the other day and helped me with a few things. It's little things. There was a day where we were in the cage early one day and we ran some things by each other. It helped a lot.

"He's been everywhere and back and he knows the game and what he is talking about. That helped."

Here is an article I published a few days ago updating Mychal Givens play recently at extended spring training.

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