Tigers Prospect Profile #42: Devon Travis

After receiving an over-slot bonus to sign out of Florida State this past summer, what skill-set does Devon Travis have that makes him such a valuable addition to the organization?

Devon Travis
Position: Second Baseman
Height: 5-9
Weight: 185
Born: 2/21/1991
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Acquired: 2012 Draft, 13th Round
Ranking History: N/A

Travis was the Tigers 13th round pick last June and he signed for an over-slot $200,000 in July before debuting with the short-season Connecticut Tigers.

Travis played 25 games for the CT-Tigers, posting a solid .280/.352/.441 line in a tough offensive environment. He popped just two doubles, two triples and three home runs in that 25 games before missing the last part of the season with an injury.

Scouting Report
There were two distinct scouting reports on Travis last summer. Several amateur scouts I spoke with billed him as an athletic second baseman with impact potential. Professional scouts didn't see the same type of player after he signed.

Travis is not impressive physically, standing at a generous 5-foot-9 and owning a stocky build with a thick lower half. He is not an impressive athlete and is a below-average runner that doesn't look smooth going down the line. One observer this summer said he "runs like a grandpa."

In the field, Travis is a very good defender. He lacks top-flight range but can get to most balls, showing a tick more range to his glove side than up the middle. His hands are nothing short of exceptional, earning rave reviews from pro scouts and members of the organization. He has solid arm strength and can turn two easily.

Travis has a compact, quick stroke. He gets the barrel of the bat to the zone quickly and shows an impressive ability to drive the ball to all fields. He lacks the loft in his swing to project for significant over-the-fence power but he should be able to find the gaps with some regularity.

He has a solid approach at the plate and grinds out at-bats until he gets a pitch he can handle. He showed good contact ability and rarely swung through pitches in the strike zone. Some pitchers were able to beat him with good fastballs on the inner third, something that could be exploited against better pitching.

Travis has a very difficult profile and a very tough path to the big leagues. As a second baseman with no other defensive possibilities, he has to hit a bunch to remain on the radar. He has the potential to hit .270-.280 if everything comes together, and he could chip in with 20-plus doubles and good defense as well. If that doesn't manifest completely, Travis is more of a solid org guy.
























Health Record
Travis had some injuries during his college career, but nothing that hampers him today. He missed the last part of the 2012 season with Connecticut because of surgery for a sports hernia.

Travis is a polished college player that should move quickly through the A-ball levels. With multiple players ahead of him on the organizational depth chart, he will enter spring training penciled into the West Michigan lineup but could force his way onto the Lakeland roster with a strong spring.

Travis could reach Double-A to start the 2014 season and he could be ready if the Tigers had a need at the big league level in 2015.

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