Nick Travieso is the next prospect in our pre-2012 draft coverage of 12 Blue Jays draft targets in 12 days. Like we did last year, we’ll also be hosting a live chat throughout the entire first round again starting at 7 p.m. ET, so make sure to pop by.
The players on our list are not who are considered to be the “best” players in the draft, but rather who could realistically be around when the Jays take the podium and who we would like to see the Blue Jays go after, with an emphasis on the latter.
Other articles in the series:
No. 1 – Lucas Giolito
No. 2 – Max Fried
No. 3 – Lance McCullers
No. 4 – Zach Eflin
No. 5 – Corey Seager
No. 6 – Courtney Hawkins
No. 7 – Chris Stratton
No. 8 – Richie Shaffer
No. 10 – Lucas Sims
No. 11 – Andrew Heaney
No. 12 – Joey Gallo
2012 MLB Draft Preview
No. 9: Nick Travieso
RHP | 18 years old / 6’2” 215 lbs
Born: January 31, 1994
High School: Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches, Florida)
College Commitment: Miami
Baseball America Rank: 40 (19th among pitchers)
ESPN/Keith Law Rank: 33 (18th among pitchers)
- Threw a perfect game on April 13th (7 0 0 0 9)
- Rawlings 1st team All American
- Won a HR derby in 2008, threw out first pitch at a Rays game as prize
Stats (via PointStreak):
From the Baseball Factory’s coverage of the 2011 Under Armour All American Game at Wrigley Field:
Nick Travieso has made gigantic strides over the past 12 months, transforming himself from a thrower into a true starting pitcher. Prior to his senior year at Archbishop McCarthy, Travieso was a seldom-used reliever who simply threw hard. His fastball sat in the low 90 mph range, and was clocked as high as 95-96 mph. In the summer before his senior year, he was invited to a Team USA tryout camp, where he pitched alongside many other potential first round picks in the 2012 draft, including Lucas Giolito. He didn’t make the team, but the experience opened his eyes to what it means to be an actual pitcher.
Thanks to his stuff as well as graduations from his school, Travieso was moved into the rotation as an 18 year old, and he began to unleash the potential hidden in his right arm. His velocity went up a notch, as he started sitting 91-95 mph, while reaching back for 98 mph when necessary. He also generates good sink on his fastball, as he utilizes his near overhand release point to generate a downward plane on his pitches. Perhaps his biggest improvement is the development of his secondary pitches. Travieso’s changeup made improvements, but like most high school pitchers, it needs a lot of work. He throws it with decent arm speed, but he fails to consistently locate it down in the zone, something that hitters in affiliated ball will take advantage of. His slider is a different story, as he buries it down in the zone very well. The pitch sits in the low 80’s, peaking as high as 86 mph, with sharp, late break. Travieso has recently been working on developing a two-seam fastball as well, as currently none of his pitches have arm side movement.
Travieso isn’t overly athletic, but he displays the athleticism he has with his mechanics. His delivery is clean and repeatable, and he throws from a high 3/4 arm slot. His outstanding arm strength allows him to generate exceptional arm speed, which is the biggest influence on his current plus fastball velocity. He maintained good walk numbers throughout his high school career, but that speaks more to the lack of discipline in the amateur ranks. In affiliated ball, he’ll need to significantly refine his command and control. Like most top prospects coming out of high school, Travieso also performed well as a hitter, playing first base. Luckily for teams, he has acknowledged that his future is on the mound, and shouldn’t make things difficult in that regard.
Why the Blue Jays could be interested:
The Blue Jays have shown a propensity towards hard throwing high school pitchers in the two years since Alex Anthopoulos took over as general manager, and despite the new regulations, I expect the team to continue that trend in the early rounds of the 2012 draft. Travieso could make a lot of sense for the Blue Jays, as he’s an arm with a lot of upside, and would likely only require the 22nd overall pick to obtain –- he’s been mocked predominantly in the mid to late 20’s of the first round. Travieso has given indications he will not sign if the team intends to use him as a reliever, but given Toronto’s history with giving every pitcher a legitimate chance to start, that shouldn’t be an issue.
The draft coverage here at Jays Journal will keep coming leading up and into the MLB Draft -— stay tuned here and on Twitter as Jared (@Jared_Macdonald) and I (@KyleMatte) continue our top 12 draft target series leading up to the first round on the Monday, June 4th.