Baltimore Orioles: Comparing Travis Snider and Chris Parmelee


Jun 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder Travis Snider (23) celebrates with first baseman Chris Parmelee (41) after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With Adam Jones still nursing a shoulder problem, the Baltimore Orioles started three left-handed throwing and hitting outfielders against Boston on Tuesday evening: Travis Snyder, David Lough and Chris Parmelee. This does not sound nearly as formidable as Jones, Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis; but all three lefties would contribute to the O’s 6-4 win over the Red Sox. Combined they were 4-for-10 with a double, triple, homer and three RBIs

Given the pending return of several Orioles who have been on the disabled list, along with the large number of players being used on the 40-man roster, it would seem that at some point the Birds are not going to be able to keep all of these outfielders. Something has to give. Perhaps it will be Steve Pearce, Nolan Reimold or Delmon Young, though it is difficult to imagine the Orioles parting with any of them either.

But for our purposes today, let’s just compare the two power lefties: Chris Parmelee and Travis Snider. Here are some basic statistics with the numbers for each – first for 2015 with the Orioles, and then for their careers.

S – 2015159442.277.354
S – Career170542452.249.314
P – 20152383.348.423
P – Career83521027.251.320

And having laid out those basic stats side by side, let’s talk about how these two players are similar and different.


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Age and Draft Position – Both are age 27 at this moment. Snider is a total of 22 days older than Parmelee. And he obviously used that advantage to be drafted six places higher in 2006. Snider was the 14th overall pick by the Blue Jays, while Parmelee was #20 by the Twins.

Career average, home runs, and on base percentage – Though Snider has twice as many at-bats, their overall average is almost the same. Parmelee has the edge by only two points. As well, the ratio of home runs is almost precisely the same, as well as the on base percentage. Each is able to work counts patiently and get on base (relative to batting average) better than most other Orioles players.


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Experience – Since Snider made it to the majors far sooner than Parmelee, he has twice as many plate appearances. And while the numbers are about the same, pound for pound, it could be argued that Parmelee has the better up-side potential.

Team Control – An oft-mentioned aspect of Snider’s acquisition is that he is under team control for another year, and that is nice. But Parmelee is not able to become a free agent until 2019.

Defensive Ability – Though Snider has played relatively good outfield defense this year, Parmelee is the better defender and probable better overall athlete and physique. He is also able to play first base, and not just the outfield.

Overall Summary

Ultimately the deciding factor is going to be how well they play. And fortunately for the Orioles right now, both of them are playing and hitting quite well. It is going to be tough. But all things being even, I think this basic analysis would show that Chris Parmelee has the slight edge in a “can only have one or the other” situation.

Next: What is wrong with Chris Tillman?