We had our first first-person Q&A with Travis 15 days after he reported to Fort Wayne in July, 2012. Travis reflected on how he went from a four-year letter winner in baseball and football in high school to signing with the only college program that recruited him, to getting the news of being selected 44th overall by the Padres.
Randy Smith and TinCaps broadcaster Mike Couzens gave you first impressions after the 2012 season, and although he landed outside our MadFriars Top 20, he was on individual watch lists based on limited data.
By the winter of 2013, Jankowski had moved into our Top 20 with the caveat that he’d need to show more ability to pull the ball when he arrived in San Antonio.
The 2014 season was a lost year for Jankowski after he suffered a severe break to his left wrist crashing into an outfield wall, but Randy Smith was still impressed with the tools Jankowski brought to the table.
By the time we checked in with Sam Geaney in mid-May, the new player development director was raving about his defense and hinting that Jankowski’s power was coming around. By the time we saw him in early June it was obvious that he was answering questions about his ability to handle inside fastballs and work the count.
As we see it, Jankowski remains a talent who will provide plus defense in center and has the ability to be a valuable top-of-the-order hitter with great speed and baserunning aptitude. He fits the profile of players whose big league numbers are better than his career minor league line, and can be an important contributor at the big league level now.