Dodger Prospect OF Travis Vetters - #46

Continuing the series on the top 50 Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best. Player ratings will be published Monday through Friday each week. Today we highlight #46, OF Travis Vetters, who led the entire Dodgers system with a .404 average at Ogden in 2008.

OF Travis Vetters
6-2 190 BR TR
Born-September 11, 1983, Boston, MA
Signed as a free agent 2006

Scouts, bird dogs, college and high school coaches blanket the North American continent, as well as most foreign countries, looking for talent. Certainly they couldn't overlook a player who would hit .404 in his second full professional season ... or could they? If so, Travis Vetters is one of them.

Vetters was a two-time All-Narrows League Bridge Division third baseman at South Kitsap, hitting .480 his junior and senior seasons. He graduated from SK in 2002 and went to the University of Portland.

Vetters was a two-time All-West Coast Conference second-team selection at the University of Portland. He hit .307 in four seasons (2003-06) with 13 homers and 101 RBI. He was Portland's all-time leader in career at-bats (745), second in triples (eight) and ranked fifth in games started (184), seventh in games played (191) and total bases (319) and ranked eighth with 113 runs.

But he spent draft day in 2006 sitting by his phone waiting for a call that never came. Dodgers scout Hank Jones apparently saw something that he liked and on June 28, 2006 he signed Vetters to a free agent contract.

He was assigned to rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League and only played 14 games, hitting .146 (6-for-41), knocked in one run and had an on-base percentage of .222.

As a college graduate, he was a bit older than the majority of Dodgers players at Ogden in 2007 but he responded with a .317 average and led the Raptors with 14 homers, 41 runs batted in over 57 games.

He opened the 2008 season with the Great Lakes Loons and struggled, hitting only .218 in 28 games with little power and was dropped back to Ogden where at 24 he was the oldest position player on the squad.

He played only 10 games in June and July, but hit .393 and moved into the regular lineup. Then in August we wielded his bat like a magic wand, crafting a dazzling .443 average (43-for-97) despite a cool September (4-for-18) he finished with a dazzling .404 average, smacking 17 doubles, nine home runs and knocking in 43 runs.

He hit .436 against left-handers, .412 at home, .526 in day games and led the Dodgers short-season teams in average.

While playing only 37 games, he led the Dodgers' short season batters with his .404 average, a .452 on-base percentage, and a OPS (on-base plus slugging) average of 1.161. He was second in slugging (.709), eighth in runs (30), sixth in hits (61), fourth in doubles (17), sixth in homers (9) and fourth in runs batted in.

Can he continue to move up the Dodgers system? Apparently the club is waiting for him to come close to the figures he posted in 2008 since he was not included in post-season play. Still behind the loop at 25 in 2009, he will probably be starting at Inland Empire again and must make his mark quickly because time is running out.

Travis Vetters

year   team  ave   obp   slug   ops  gm  ab    r   h  2b 3b  hr  bi sb  
2006  GCL   .146  .222  .146   .368  14   41   2   6   0  0   0   1  2
2007  Ogden .315  .381  .645  1.026  57  197  45  62  13  5  14  41  1	
2008  IEmp  .218  .269  .277   .546  28  101   9  22   6  0   0   6  4
      Ogden .404  .452  .709  1.161  37  151  30  61  17  1   9  43  3

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