Blake Snell
Snell with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018
Free Agent
Born: (1992-12-04) December 4, 1992 (age 31)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
MLB debut
April 23, 2016, for the Tampa Bay Rays
MLB statistics
(through 2023 season)
Win–loss record71–55
Earned run average3.20
Career highlights and awards

Blake Ashton Snell (born December 4, 1992) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres.

The Rays selected Snell in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft and he made his MLB debut with the Rays in 2016. He won the Cy Young Award in the American League (AL) in 2018, when he was an All-Star and led the league in both wins and earned run average (ERA). The Rays traded Snell to the Padres before the 2021 season and he won his second Cy Young Award in 2023.

Early life

Snell attended Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington, where he played for the baseball team.[1][2] In high school, he trained at a facility owned by his father, a former minor league baseball player. In his senior season, Snell recorded a 9–0 win–loss record, a 1.00 earned run average (ERA) with 128 strikeouts in over 63 innings pitched.[3]

Professional career

Draft and minor leagues

The Tampa Bay Rays selected Snell in the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.[4] He signed with the Rays and made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Rays, where he was 1–2 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 games (eight starts). He spent 2012 with the Princeton Rays, pitching to a 5–1 record and a 2.09 ERA in 11 starts, and 2013 with the Bowling Green Hot Rods where he compiled a 4–9 record and a 4.27 ERA in 23 starts.

Snell started 2014 with Bowling Green and was promoted to the Charlotte Stone Crabs in May. On August 2, he pitched a rain-shortened no-hitter against the Daytona Cubs.[5][6] It was the first no-hitter in Stone Crabs history. In 24 total games started between the two clubs, he was 8–8 with a 3.19 ERA. After the season, he was named the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year.[7][8] Snell started 2015 with the Stone Crabs and was promoted to the Montgomery Biscuits after allowing no runs in 21 innings to start the season.[9] He was later promoted to the Durham Bulls. In 25 games (23 starts) between the three clubs, he was 15–4 with a 1.41 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.[10] The Rays added him to their 40-man roster after the season.[11] Snell began the 2016 season with Durham.

Tampa Bay Rays (2016–2020)


Snell was promoted to the major leagues to make his debut on April 23, 2016, at Yankee Stadium.[12] His first inning showed jitters, as he allowed a run off of a wild pitch, but he calmed down after that, striking out the side in the second inning, and retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced. Through the 2016 season for Tampa, Snell made 19 starts, finishing with a 6–8 record, 3.54 ERA, and 98 strikeouts over 89 innings.

At the beginning of the 2017 season, Snell failed to work into the sixth inning in almost all of his first eight games, and was routinely touching 100 pitches in the fourth inning. After posting an ERA of 4.71 through eight starts in 2017, he was demoted to Durham on May 13. On June 28, Snell was recalled and his turnaround was evident. After July 23, Snell went 5–1 with a 3.31 ERA to finish the season[13] with 24 starts, recording 119 strikeouts over 129+13 innings with a 4.04 ERA.[14]

2018: Cy Young Award

Snell opened the 2018 season as the number two starter, behind Chris Archer. On June 3, he tied an AL record by striking out the first seven batters he faced in a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Snell ended the game allowing no runs in six innings and recorded 12 strikeouts. This was his first career start at Safeco Field in front of many of his friends and family, an estimated 300, including the first professional start witnessed by his grandfather, whom he considers a mentor.[15]

At the time of the All-Star team announcement, Snell was 12–4 with a 2.09 ERA, the lowest of all qualified pitchers in the American League. Despite his success, he was not named to the original AL roster. This led to wide criticism of the selection process by players, coaches, fans, and analysts.[16][17] After Corey Kluber opted out of the All-Star game due to injury, Snell was named his replacement, ending the controversy and awarding him his first career All-Star appearance.[18]

On July 23, Snell was put on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue.[19] He was reactivated on August 4 against the Chicago White Sox.[20] On August 21, Snell set a new MLB record with his 13th straight start allowing one earned run or fewer at home.[21] After he allowed two runs at home against the Baltimore Orioles, his streak ended at 14.[22] Snell was the American League Pitcher of the Month for August, during which he went 4–0 with a 1.08 ERA over five starts.[23]

On September 18, Snell recorded his 20th victory on the season, becoming the first Ray to accomplish this since David Price in 2012.[24] On September 23, he won his 21st game, setting a franchise record after pitching 623 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays.[25] He was again named the American League Pitcher of the Month for September, in which he went 5–0 with a 1.26 ERA and 53 strikeouts over 3523 innings. Snell became the youngest pitcher to win the award in consecutive months since Johan Santana in 2004.[26]

Snell finished his breakout season leading the majors in wins (21), adjusted ERA+ (219), and batting average against (.178), as well as leading the American League in earned run average (1.89) and wins above replacement among pitchers (7.5).[27] His 1.89 ERA was the lowest in the American League since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 in 2000, and the third-lowest in the AL since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973.[28] He allowed two or fewer runs in 27 of his 31 starts and one or zero runs in 21 starts. Against the American League's five playoff teams, he went 9–2 with a 2.00 ERA.[29] He led all major league pitchers in left on base percentage, stranding 88.0% of base runners.[30] For the season, he also had the lowest percentage of balls pulled against him (33.8%) among major league pitchers, and led major league pitchers in lowest contact percentage (66.6%).[31][32]

On November 14, Snell won the American League Cy Young Award, topping runner-up Justin Verlander by 15 points (169–154) and receiving 17 of 30 first-place votes. He became the second Rays pitcher to win the award, after Price in 2012.[29]


On March 21, 2019, Snell agreed to a five-year contract worth $50 million to keep him with the Rays through the 2023 season; it is the largest deal given to a major league pitcher before they reached salary arbitration.[33][34] In spring training, Snell was named the Opening Day starter for the 2019 season,[35] earning the loss in a 5–1 defeat against Verlander and the Houston Astros.[36] His first win that season was a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies, pitching 13 strikeouts and just two hits in seven innings.[37] On April 16, Snell was placed on the injured list after breaking a toe on his right foot while moving furniture in his bathroom, and missed two starts.[38] On July 25, it was announced that he would undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his left elbow.[39] Due to multiple trips to the disabled list, Snell finished with a 6–8 record in 23 starts. He struck out 147 batters in 107 innings.

On October 8, Snell made his first career appearance as a reliever and closer, and earned the save against Houston Astros working 23 of an inning, tying the American League Division Series at two games apiece.[40]


Before the start of the delayed MLB season, Snell caused some controversy when he said that he was more concerned about his pay than health when it comes to decisions to return to play during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, "I'm not playing unless I get mine ... That's just the way it is for me," later admitting that his words could be taken as selfish.[41] Commentators said his remarks were seen as "outrageously out-of-touch" during the pandemic.[42]

In the pandemic-shortened season, Snell was 4–2 with a 3.24 ERA.[43] He tied the record for the AL lead in wild pitches, with seven.[44]

Snell started the first game of the postseason against the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Series. He took a no-hitter into the 6th inning as the Rays won 3-1.[45] Snell started Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. He allowed four runs through five innings as the Rays lost the game 9–3.[46] The Rays won the series in five games. Snell started Games 1 and 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros. He allowed one run through five innings in Game 1 and two runs through four innings in Game 6.[46] The Rays won Game 1 and lost Game 6, advancing to the World Series after a Game 7 victory. In Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Snell allowed two runs and struck out nine batters in 4.2 innings.[47] He became the first player in World Series history to strike out nine or more batters in fewer than five innings pitched.[48] His nine strikeouts set a franchise postseason record. The Rays won the game 6–4.[49] In Game 6 with the Rays leading 1–0 with one out, Snell was pulled by Kevin Cash for Nick Anderson in the 6th inning after pitching a shutout with two hits and nine strikeouts.[50] The Dodgers then scored two runs in that inning and would go on to win the game 3–1 and the World Series for the first time since 1988, resulting in criticism by fans and baseball media.

San Diego Padres (2021–2023)


On December 29, 2020, the Rays traded Snell to the San Diego Padres in exchange for prospects Luis Patiño, Blake Hunt, and Cole Wilcox, along with catcher Francisco Mejía.[51] For the Padres, Snell slotted in as the team's number 2 pitcher. Snell regressed a bit in 2021, as he ended the year with a 7-6 record, and a 4.20 ERA over 27 starts.[52] Snell initially had trouble going deep into games, not completing six innings until his ninth start of the year.[53] After two more starts where he failed to get out of the fourth inning, Snell pitched seven shut-out innings against the Mets on June 4, giving up only one hit.[54] Snell missed a pair of starts in the summer due to a bout with food poisoning.[55] Snell finished strong, posting a 1.83 ERA is his final eight starts of the year,[56] including seven innings of no-hit ball against the Diamondbacks on August 31.[57] He left his September 12 start early due to left adductor tightness. He was placed on the IL the following day, and he would not return.[58]


Snell's preparations for the 2022 season were interrupted by the lockout, and he was behind the other starting pitchers in building innings in spring training.[59] In his first scheduled start of the regular season, Snell again felt adductor tightness while warming up in the bullpen and he did not pitch in the game.[60] After going to the IL, Snell returned to the starting rotation on May 18, pitching 323 innings against the Phillies.[61] With Snell's return, the Padres opted to go with a 6-man rotation to keep MacKenzie Gore in the starting line-up and lower stress on arms.[62]


In 2023, Snell made 32 starts with a 14–9 record and 234 strikeouts in 180 innings pitched. His ERA of 2.25 and hits-per-nine-innings (H/9) of 5.8 were the best in Major League Baseball, as was his ERA+ of 182; at the same time, his 99 walks also led the Majors. Additionally, he led all NL pitchers in WAR (6.0), second-most in the Majors behind Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole (7.5).[63] On November 14, Snell rejected a $20.25 million qualifying offer from the Padres, and chose to become a free agent.[64] The next day, Snell won the 2023 NL Cy Young Award, receiving 28 out of 30 first-place votes. It was Snell’s second Cy Young Award, and he is the seventh pitcher in MLB history to receive the award in both leagues.[65]

Personal life

Snell grew up a Seattle Mariners fan.[66] His nickname "Snellzilla" originally belonged to his oldest brother, but he seized it for himself at age eleven.[67]

Snell owned a home in St. Petersburg, Florida but sold it for $1.4 million in 2021.[68][69] He resides in Lynnwood, Washington during the offseason.[70]


  1. ^ Kelley, Mason (June 5, 2011). "Shorewood left-hander Blake Snell has high hopes for MLB draft". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Lommers, Aaron (December 31, 2016). "Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell giving major league assist to his alma mater, Shorewood". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Kelley, Mason (June 5, 2011). "Shorewood left-hander Blake Snell has high hopes for MLB draft". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Kelley, Mason (June 6, 2011). "Shorewood's Blake Snell drafted by Tampa Bay with 52nd pick". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  5. ^ Heneghan, Kelsie (August 2, 2014). "Snell notches Stone Crabs' first no-hitter". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  6. ^ Long, A. Stacy (August 2, 2014). "Stone Crabs' Snell throws no-hitter". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  7. ^ Berry, Adam (September 19, 2014). "Field, Snell among Rays' Minor League award winners". Tampa Bay Rays. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  8. ^ "Rays prospect Johnny Field wins team's top minor-league player award". FOX Sports. September 19, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  9. ^ Stephenson, Creg (April 27, 2015). "Tampa Bay Rays' top LHP prospect Blake Snell joins Montgomery Biscuits". Alabama Local News. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Blake Snell Stats, Highlights, Bio - Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Chastain, Bill (November 20, 2015). "Rays add Blake Snell, five others to 40-man". Tampa Bay Rays. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Rays will call up top prospect Blake Snell". Sports Illustrated. April 22, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "Blake Snell called up from Triple-A, will start for Rays on Wednesday | FOX Sports". FOX Sports. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "Blake Snell » Statistics » Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "Despite Blake Snell's record-tying start, Rays lose again to Mariners 2-1". June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  16. ^ "Blake Snell Snub Highlights Issue With MLB All-Star Selection System". July 9, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  17. ^ "Chris Archer on Blake Snell's snub from All-Star roster: 'Something like that can't happen'". July 9, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Becker, Jake. "Rays starter Blake Snell added to All-Star roster after initial snub - NY Daily News". Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "Rays place Blake Snell on disabled list with shoulder fatigue". July 23, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "Rays Journal: Pham on 10-day DL, Snell back on the mound". August 3, 2018. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "Steve Carney on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Marc Topkin on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  23. ^ "Hamels, Snell named August Pitchers of Month". September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Humphrey, Dic (September 18, 2018). "Milestone night for Snell: 20th win, 200th K". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  25. ^ Rose, Aaron (September 23, 2018). "Snell picks up franchise-record 21st win of year". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  26. ^ Kramer, Daniel (October 1, 2018). "Snell, Marquez earn Pitcher of Month honors". Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Blake Snell Stats". Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  28. ^ Topkin, Marc (September 28, 2018). "Making a case for, against Rays' Blake Snell for AL Cy Young". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Castrovince, Anthony (November 14, 2018). "deGrom, Snell rise to top as 1st-time Cy winners". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  30. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Pitchers » Dashboard | FanGraphs Baseball".
  31. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Pitchers » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball".
  32. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Pitchers » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball".
  33. ^ "Blake Snell". Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  34. ^ West, Jenna. "Rays sign Blake Snell to five-year, $50 million extension". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  35. ^ "Blake Snell named opening day starter for the Rays". FantasyPros. March 6, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  36. ^ "Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Box Score, March 28, 2019". Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  37. ^ "Colorado Rockies at Tampa Bay Rays Box Score, April 2, 2019". Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  38. ^ "Blake Snell breaks toe in 'really dumb' bathroom decision". New York Post. Associated Press. April 17, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  39. ^ "Here's how Snell's elbow surgery affects Rays". July 25, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  40. ^ Rays stud Blake Snell vs. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez: Snell comes to close ALDS Game 4, retrieved October 9, 2019
  41. ^ Leah Asmelash and David Close (May 14, 2020). "Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell says taking a pay cut to play baseball isn't worth the health risk". CNN.
  42. ^ "Your honor, my client (Blake Snell) pleads temporary stupidity". Tampa Bay Times.
  43. ^ "Blake Snell Stats".
  44. ^ "2020 American League Pitching Leaders".
  45. ^ "Snell sharp, Margot HR, Rays beat Blue Jays 3-1 in opener". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  46. ^ a b "Blake Snell Postseason Pitching Game Logs". Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  47. ^ Dixon, Schuyler. "Vaunted bullpen wobbles, hangs on as Rays get even with LA". Washington Post. Associated Press. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  48. ^ "Pitching Game Finder". Sports Reference. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  49. ^ "Snell's 9 K's set postseason record for Rays". Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  50. ^ Snyder, Matt (October 27, 2020). "Rays pull Blake Snell in World Series Game 6 vs. Dodgers, and the questionable move immediately backfired". CBS. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  51. ^ Cassavell, AJ. "Padres' blockbuster trade for Snell official". San Diego Padres. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  52. ^ "Blake Snell 2021 Pitching Game Logs". baseball reference. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  53. ^ Sanders, Jeff (May 18, 2021). "Blake Snell goes six, Padres walk-off Rockies in 10th". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  54. ^ Acee, Kevin (June 4, 2021). "Snell has his best start of season as Padres down Mets". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  55. ^ "Padres notes: Blake Snell will not start again this half; Nabil Crismatt will be back". San Diego Union Tribune. July 9, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  56. ^ Lee, Nick (June 8, 2022). "Padres lefty Blake Snell is an enigma". East Village Times. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  57. ^ Cassavell, AJ. "Snell allows no hits, but there's no no-hitter". Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  58. ^ Kaestle, David (September 13, 2021). "Padres Get Bad News With Latest Blake Snell Injury Update". fanduel. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  59. ^ Acee, Kevin (March 22, 2022). "Snell expects to be ready to start season for Padres, but it will be slow going again". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  60. ^ Cassavell, AJ (April 10, 2022). "Snell late scratch from start, could go on IL". Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  61. ^ Cassavell, AJ (May 18, 2022). "Snell makes return, rounds out loaded staff". Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  62. ^ Acee, Kevin (May 28, 2022). "Padres starting pitchers working a lot, when they work". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  63. ^ "2023 Major League Baseball Pitching Leaders".
  64. ^ Sanders, Jeff (November 14, 2023). "Blake Snell, Josh Hader reject qualifying offers; Padres add Jairo Iriarte to 40-man roster". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  65. ^ "Padres' Blake Snell wins 2023 National League Cy Young". Associated Press. November 15, 2023. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  66. ^ "Tables turned: Rays' Blake Snell now pitches against Mariners, his favorite team growing up". The Seattle Times. June 15, 2016.
  67. ^ Wild, Danny. "Prospect Q&A: 'Snellzilla' seeks sequel,", Thursday, March 24, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2021
  68. ^ "Ex-Rays pitcher Blake Snell lists St. Petersburg house for $1.4 million".
  69. ^ "San Diego Padres Pitcher Blake Snell Close to Sale of $1.4M Florida Home". March 22, 2021.
  70. ^ "Exclusive: At home in Washington with Blake Snell as he prepares to bounce back strong in 2020".
Awards and achievements Preceded byChris SaleMichael WachaFreddy Peralta Najor League Baseball Pitcher of the Month August—September 2018June 2023September 2023 Succeeded byTyler GlasnowCorbin BurnesMost Recent