Tigers Scouting Report #13: Devon Travis

Prior to making the news for hitting the disabled list, Devon Travis was being lauded for his impressive 2013 season along with a strong spring training in big league camp. Travis has clearly been good over the last year - how good can he be in future years?

Devon Travis

Vitals

Position: Second Baseman
Date of Birth: 2/21/1991 (2014 Opening Day Age: 23)
Height/Weight: 5-9/195
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2012 Draft, 13th Round
Ranking History: #42 (2013), #13 (2014)

Background: Despite falling to the 13th round of the draft because of signability concerns, Travis was paid like a 5th round pick by the Tigers as a means to convince him to forego his final year of college eligibility. He hit .280 in 25 games during his debut summer before going under the knife to repair a sports hernia. In 2013 he dominated across both A-ball levels, posting a combined .351 average and socking 48 extra-base hits.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
West Mich 290551021726423532143.352.430.486
Lakeland 21438751121034183281.350.401.561


Scouting Report

Body: Small frame; very short torso and legs; no physical projection; doesn't stand out as fast-twitch athlete as he was billed coming out of college; quality athlete, just not a supreme one; good strength for size; have to look past small frame to project him.

Hit: Easy knack for contact; short and quick to the zone; bat-to-ball ability is a plus; can drive the ball to all fields; hard line drives; will get pull happy at times; can move the ball around based on situation; handles the bat well; classic two-hole hitter; plus hit projection with good approach and walks to back up batting average; still need experience against advanced arms. Grade – Present 4+/Future 6

Power: Line drive oriented swing; doesn't lift the ball well; power will manifest in the form of doubles rather than home runs; aggressive base runner will turn some singles into extra-base hits; below-average raw power; hit utility and approach should allow him to max out power projection; potential for 10-12 home runs and 25+ doubles a year if it all comes together. Grade – 4/4

Speed: Showed as below-average runner during pro debut in 2012; speed improved with sports hernia behind him; solid-average runner at present; gets out of the box pretty well; runs hard on everything; good instincts and aggressive when he runs; could steal 10-15 bases but not a considerable threat; smaller body without premium athleticism could cause speed to dip to average at physical maturity. Grade – 5+/5

Defense: Exceptional hands; cradles the ball and handles it cleanly on almost all plays; hands work well to the backhand side and to glove side; lacks impressive range but will put in maximum effort to get to balls; gritty player that stands in well on pivot; hard-nosed defender that wants to make all the plays, even if physical gifts won't allow him to; average overall defensive profile. Grade – 5/5

Arm: Average arm that plays at second base; has enough arm strength for plays up the middle and on pivot; arm adds to average defensive profile. Grade – 5/5

Other: Doesn't wow you with tools; does a lot of things solidly well; absolute grinder and baseball rat; plays the game extremely hard; maximizes tool profile with effort and desire; solid instincts that help modest tools; humble kid.

Final Word

Summary: Well-rounded profile; does a little of everything; hit tool has to manifest to peak of projection for the rest of the game to matter; has gap power that can play if hit tool holds up against advanced arms; average run long term; average overall defensive profile; hands are tremendous; hard-nosed player that grinds in every facet of the game; could make the most out of a solid tool profile through effort/determination.

Risk: High risk; 2B only profile that requires maximization of tool profile; has yet to experience high-level pitching; lengthy injury history.

Projection: Difficult profile; has the raw hit potential to max out and reach a solid everyday projection; needs to demonstrate success at Double-A in 2014; if the hitting ability doesn't reach full potential with .280+ average and strong OBP, the profile maxes out in the fringe-MLB range.

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