Toronto Blue Jays 2015 Top Prospect: #6 Devon Travis
It is that time of year, where the team here at Jays Journal once again discusses the Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects. We have compiled our Top 20 and we wanted to create the most all-inclusive Blue Jays prospect ranking out there.
So, we took a mixed approach to our rankings. Not only did we take a ranking from each member of our writing staff, but we also figured in the rankings from other publications as well, including MLB.com, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and Minor League Ball.
As we continue to wind through to the bottom of our top prospect in the Blue Jays system, you can catch up with the previous members of the Top 20 by clicking here.
Today we focus our attention on newly acquired second baseman Devon Travis who just missed cracking the top five but still managed to check in at number 6 on our list.
Name: Devon Travis
Position: Second base
Date of Birth: 02/21/1991 (24)
Acquired: Acquired for Anthony Gose (November 12, 2014). Drafted in the 13th round of the 2012 draft by the Detroit Tigers
Height/Weight: 5’™9″/195 lbs
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Awards and Accomplishments
- MiLB.com Organizational All-Star in 2013 and 2014
- Mid-Season All-Stars- 2013
- Post-Season All-Star in 2013 and 2014
- Player of the Week- September 3rd 2013, July 7th 2014
- MiLB.com Fans choice for best offensive player- 2013
- MiLB.com fans choice for breakout prospect- 2013
- Rising Stars with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2013
Stats and Analysis
The product of Florida State University, Devon Travis was steadily moving through the Detroit Tigers system when he was traded this off-season for CF Anthony Gose. The Blue Jays were able to acquire a infield prospect that does everything above average…..except hit for power. He reminds me of Melky Cabrera in that he is 50-55 across the board.
He started the year off recovering from injury, only playing 4 games in April and 13 games in May. His numbers suffered, as he was hitting under.250 at the start of June. He would go on to hit about .295 in each of the remaining three months. He hit better against RHP (.320) than LHP (.254), but he managed to hit 5HR off both despite having twice as many at-bats against RHP.
For the SeaWolves, Travis mainly batted in the 3rd spot where he hit .295/.358/.450 in 251AB.
Travis has the range to play short but lack the arm strength, so he remain on the right side of the infield. He gets to most balls hit to him and will make the routine and not so routine plays, but don’t expect any gold gloves. He uses his quick feet to turn the double with ease and should make Jose Reyes look good once he makes to Toronto. He finished 2014 with a .974 Fld% and 4.40 RF while committing 11 errors in 429 chances. He also turned 42 double plays in 95 games.
Devon is a smart base runner but doesn’t have game changing speed. He picks his spots and rare runs into an out, as evidence of his 80% success rate over his minor league career. This would be the main concern I have for his since he is being labelled as a future #2 hitter. Once again, he reminds me of Melky Cabrera.
He makes good contact and doesn’t expand the strike zone, which is whyBaseball America awarded him with having the Best Strike-Zone Discipline of Detroit’s Top 10 Prospects. With the Erie SeaWolves, Travis generated a solid BB/K of 0.62 by walking 8.4% of the time and only striking out 13.6% of the time. His ability to consistently make solid contact allowed him to put a .327 BABIP, above average .812 OPS and a very very good .365 wOBA.
Travis was able to put up decent power numbers with an above average .162 ISO. With RISP he hit .268/.344/.375, but in 7 baseloaded situations he hit .286 with 7RBI, one BB and 2K. Whats more impressive was his ability to put the ball in play with 2 out and RISP, hitting .324/.410/.485 with a home run and 21 RBI.
Outlook and ETA
Prior to his breakout season in 2013 Devon Travis wasn’t on any prospect lists, nor did he receive much pre-draft hype. Coming to Toronto, where second base has become a black hole since Aaron Hill was traded for Kelly Johnson, will allow Travis with the best opportunity to make it to the Majors. He wasn’t going to make to the majors in 2015 if he stayed in Detroit, what with his path being blocked by perennial All-Star Ian Kinsler.
Devon Travis has a good chance of winning the starting job out of spring training, which is the hopes of many Blue Jay supporters. He merely needs to hold his own and not appear over matched to stay with the big club. If he falters, than it’s down the QEW he goes.
I expect this scrappy second baseman to do well and play his way into Blue Jay fans heart, but I don’t expect huge numbers from him. Worse case scenario would be for him to struggle in the spring an have to start the season at Double-A New Hampshire….not going to happen.
What to get to know Devon Travis a little bit better (click here).