Always the bridesmaid, never the bride... Conger waiting to march down an opening day lineup yet again...
What does Hank Conger have to do to get noticed around these parts? The perennial catching prospect and former first rounder has been passed over yet again on the Angels depth chart with today's acquisition of Chris Snyder from the Washington Nationals.
Snyder was released by the former Expos franchise, but Jerry Dipoto has made an art form out of pulling talent away from non-rival National League clubs for nothing - witness the absorption of pitcher Michael Cisco from the Phillies just yesterday.
Chris Iannetta remains the primary backstop for the Angels who recycled out catchers Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson over the past 26 months with nothing to show for it but Vernon Wells and Brad Mills.
Hank Conger, meanwhile, has a year of roundtrip tickets between Anaheim and Salt Lake City awaiting him. This is his final year of options but at some point (the exact point obviously being this time next year when he is out of options) the Angels are going to have to put this kid on an opening day roster and see if the left-handed bat named after Hank Aaron can do a bit more damage than the Mike Scioscia favorites of the Ryan Budde years.
It is a conceit of this organization that it doesn't need a decent left handed bat off the bench. Hank's catching defense is not of an all star caliber but his bat plays, especially in the Angels Post-Kendrys righty-heavy lineup. Switch-hitting Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar are all the team has to backup natural lefty Josh Hamilton.
The 32-year old Snyder bats right-handed, hit .176 in 76 games with the Astros last season and is a career .225 hitter with a .385 slugging percentage in 706 major league games.