Tigers Prospect Profile: Devon Travis

The Tigers snagged second baseman Devon Travis out Florida State earlier this year in the draft and gave him a hefty bonus to pry him away from the Seminoles and sign. What does Travis bring 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

Background
Travis was a standout player for Florida State for three years before being picked by the Tigers in the 13th round this summer. He signed close to the July signing deadline for a reported $200,000. Since signing, Travis has posted a .280/.352/.441 line with Connecticut in the New York-Penn League.

Scouting Report
Some area scouts in Florida had billed Travis as an athletic second baseman with offensive potential. That scouting report doesn't match what pro scouts – including myself – and coaches have seen since he signed.

Travis is a small, compact guy with a thick lower half. He has strength in his frame. His movements are not as graceful and fluid as you would expect from a player described as athletic. His body has little projection remaining.

Travis is a below-average runner that "runs like a grandpa" according to one scout that saw him several times this summer. He will turn in the occasional average time when he gets out of the box really well, but those are rare and he projects as a below-average runner long term.

His lack of straight-line speed doesn't really hold him back defensively. Travis has solid range to both sides, though he does struggle to get to some balls behind the second base bag. He has exceptional hands and footwork at the position and is arguably one of the best second-base defenders in the entire organization. His arm is strong enough for the position and he can hold his own on the pivot.

Travis has a good approach at the plate and he controls the bat well, giving him some hitting projection. He barrels balls consistently, using the whole field to his advantage. He will be tested against consistently good breaking balls but early returns suggest he should be able to hit for a solid average.

The ball jumps off his bat at times, giving him more pop than his size would suggest. He has the ability to drive the ball to both gaps and can really turn on the ball when he gets one on the inner third. His home run power will be limited to a below-average level, but he has the potential to pick up enough doubles that he won't be a punchless offensive player.

While Travis' quality defense at second base enhances his overall profile there is still significant pressure on his offensive development. Without reaching his offensive ceiling, Travis tops out as a high-character organizational guy with a solid stick and good defense. If his offensive potential fully manifests into a .280 hitter with gap power, then he could have a future as a second division starter or maybe a tick more.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

SS-A

Connecticut

93

.280

2

3

11

10

8

.352

.441


Health Record
Travis missed time during the 2011 college season with a serious ankle sprain, though he showed few lingering effects from the injury in 2012. He was recently sidelined while with Connecticut, requiring surgery to repair a hernia.

The Future
Travis will certainly head to A-ball in 2013 and could spend the year at either West Michigan or Lakeland, depending on his spring performance. He has the approach to handle an aggressive assignment, but there are other prospects (Eugenio Suarez, Dixon Machado, Hernan Perez, Brandon Loy, etc.) that the Tigers will be looking to get on the field.

Travis has the potential to move quickly through the system once he gets his feet under him in full-season ball. He could reach Double-A in his second full season (2014) and the Tigers needs and his development will dictate his timeline from there.

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