Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 1/20/12
For Chris Snyder, just finding an opportunity would have been enough. Getting a shot with his hometown team was far more than he expected. The Astros signed the 30-year old catcher Friday to a one year contract with a mutual option for 2013. Snyder gives the Astros a veteran player to add to the mix with Humberto Quintero and the very young Jason Castro, who is coming off knee surgery which wiped out his 2011 season. Snyder played in just 34 games with the Pirates last season before re-herniating a disc in his back. Snyder spent the majority of 2011 recovering from back surgery and this off season he has been trying to convince teams that he really is recovered. "It was frustrating because there was a lot of uncertainty talking to other teams," said Snyder. "They read medicals and they see a guy who's had two back surgeriesobviously that's not what you want to read. Fortunately a team took a chance and even more fortunate that it's the hometown team that I grew up watching." Snyder played college baseball at the University of Houston and high school ball at Spring Woods. In 119 plate appearances last season Snyder batted .271 with a .376 OBP. For his career, Snyder is a .231 hitter with a .333 OBP. But Snyder's forte is his defense. In fact, Snyder's .998 career fielding percent is tops all-time in Major League history among catchers with 600 or more games. "I've always put all the chips in on defense," said Snyder. "I'm more concerned about what I get from the guy on the mound rather than what I'm doing at the plate. That's always my main focus going into any game." Snyder says he is completely healthy and will be ready once spring training begins. "The back's great," Snyder said. "I've been hitting, throwing, catchingtreating it like a normal off-season. It's been very comforting to be able to do that without any restrictions because it's felt great."
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