Keeping up with the Houston Astros prospects: Cy Sneed
To make room on the 40-man roster for Astros prospects who needed to be protected from the Rule V draft, the Houston Astros traded Jonathan Villar to the Brewers for Cy Sneed. Yes, his name is Cy, and the trade happened the day after Dallas Keuchel was named the AL Cy Young. I asked Cy later in the interview what the origin of the name Cy, continue reading to figure out what he said.
Drafted in the third round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, Sneed has two minor league seasons under his belt, finishing 2015 in High-A Brevard County. Sneed struggled in his first professional season in rookie ball, going 0-2/ 5.94 ERA/ 31 strikeouts in 38 innings. It’s hard to put too much stock into what happens in a young player’s first season as they are trying to find out who they are in professional baseball.
After the rough 2014 season, Sneed bounced back between Low and High-A in 2015. Even though he pitched better, he was given very little run support despite having good pitching stats. He went 6-11/ 2.58 ERA/ 122 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings. He might benefit from a change of farm systems to the Astros where seven teams made the playoffs in 2015.
You might find Sneed hunting, studying in the library, or on the baseball field, but you won’t find him on the Astros top prospects list yet. With some players about to be claimed through the Rule V draft, maybe he will creep up into the top 30. However, with time, this could change. We welcome all beards on the Astros roster.
Cy Sneed’s CTH Interview
CTH: What are you doing this offseason to get ready for 2016?
Sneed: I am currently taking classes toward finishing up my Business Management degree from Dallas Baptist University (I will have one big semester left after this one). Along with this, I am also doing all my workouts and baseball activities trying to build my strength before the long season next year.
CTH: Where were you when you found out that you were traded to Houston, and what were your first thoughts about the Astros?
My wife and I were sitting on my couch doing homework when I got the call, and I was so shocked I’m not sure I was even thinking anything at that moment. I guess my first thought about the Astros was of their pitching program that I have heard is as good as it gets in professional baseball. I also thought that Houston is pretty close to where I currently live and also pretty close to some family and lots of friends. My wife has a blog and just put a post on there about the whole situation so anybody can go read that, www.baseballbride.blogspot.com.
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CTH: With Cy-Young Dallas Keuchel and his beard, everyone is wondering what your beard situation is. One picture you have an old school mustache and the other one you have a full Evan Gattis beard. Which one should we expect when you get to Houston?
Sneed: I am torn on what facial hair to go with. I started growing a beard each offseason in college because it helped to keep my face warm in the cold Idaho winters and because I hate shaving. I trimmed it down to a Fu Manchu mustache for each season that ended up landing me the nickname “The Sheriff” so I think that I might have to stick with the ‘stache for that reason. I seriously respect the high-quality facial hair guys like Keuchel and Gattis grow, those are man beards.
CTH: To be drafted by a major league team has to be awesome, what was it like to be drafted in the third round of the 2014 draft? Who was the first person you told?
Sneed: It was a dream come true for me hearing my name called that day. It was a moment to step back and think about all the hard work and long days it took to get to that point and also a time to look forward and know there would be even longer harder days down the road to get to the ultimate goal. My then girlfriend (now wife, Hannah) was sitting right next to me when my name got called, and then the floodgates opened and everyone I ever met was calling or texting me to say congratulations.
CTH: I know the answer to this question, are you a city slicker or ranch type of guy?
Sneed: Being an Idaho boy that’s an easy one for me. I love being outside and I especially love being in the mountains. Idaho is plumb full of them, and I love how hard they make you work hard to accomplish what you set out to do, whether it be to hunt a trophy mule deer, catch a big trout in a mountain stream or hike to the top to enjoy the view. My aunt lives on a good sized cattle ranch in East Texas, and I go out there as much as I can, it’s a beautiful place where I can get away, do a little hunting and fishing and be around some cows.
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CTH: What type of pitches do you throw with speeds of each?
Sneed: I throw a four-seam fastball from maybe 91-94, I stopped caring about how hard I threw it the end of my sophomore year of college when I was struggling and started doing a lot better, so I don’t put much stock in what the radar gun says anymore. Change up is around 77-78. Curveball is right around 80 usually and lastly my splitter/forkball thing is probably 83-84 most of the time.
CTH: I know you struggled a little the first year of pro ball, what lead to the better results in 2015?
Sneed: I think that getting back to what I did well was the turnaround from my first year to last year. I didn’t try to do too much and instead make quality pitches and not walk people; free bases will kill you in this game.
CTH: Have you bought your first Astros hat yet?
Sneed: I have not bought any Astros gear, but it is on my list of things to do. Maybe I can hit up a black Friday sale and get two for the price of one; my wife is going to need one too!
CTH: I noticed that if there was a Zombie apocalypse, it seems like you and your wife would be ready. What type of guns do you shoot and how’s your accuracy?
Sneed: You are probably getting that from the picture on my Twitter. That’s from Alaska a few years back (where my wife is from) and those are some of her dad’s guns, she is holding a .338 that she handles really well, and I have a pair of big .44’s in my hands. Personally I try to do a lot of archery hunting and this year tried for a whitetail with a longbow a family friend made, missed a nice buck with it but that’s how it sometimes goes with traditional archery. Firearm wise I have a Savage .270 that is my primary big game rifle as well as a 12 gauge shotgun for pheasants and a big Glock 10mm for anything that might not be too friendly. I shoot them all pretty well but never good enough, and you can always be better!
CTH: I have to ask about the name. Was there anything behind your parents naming you Cy? It’s the perfect baseball name.
Sneed: I was named after Cy Young. With a name like Cy you only really have one career path to go after, so I think I was a pitcher from day one.
CTH: What is your out pitch and what type of pitcher would you consider yourself, strikeout or pitch to weak contact?
Sneed: Depending on the situation any of my pitches can be an out pitch, I really try to let the at-bat and the situation dictate what I use at a certain time. I like to think I am both a strikeout pitcher and a weak contact guy, but primarily I just try to get outs however I can as quickly as I can.
CTH: Do you know anyone in the Astros organization?
Sneed: I think there are a few guys I have crossed paths with in the last couple years that are with the Astros, one of which I played college ball with. My wife knows some wives of other players in the organization, so I am actually meeting a few guys that way.
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview, looking forward to writing someday that Cy Sneed was made for the Cy Young award. One step at a time, good luck in Lancaster or Corpus Christi in 2016. Give Sneed a follow at @CySneed, you will love his profile picture.