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Scouting report from Rob Rogacki of Bless You Boys


I asked Rob Rogacki from Bless You Boys for a scouting report on Devon Travis. He also sent along this link to Bless You Boys profile of him when they covered him as number 15 on their Top 30 Tigers Prospect List.

Here are Robs thoughts.

Travis was a 13th round pick out of Florida State University in 2012. A three year starter with the Seminoles, Travis hit .323/.388/.487 in parts of three seasons within the Tigers' system. He made an early splash at Single-A West Michigan in 2013, hitting 352/.430/.486 in 339 plate appearances. A midseason call-up didn't slow him down whatsoever, as Travis compiled a .962 OPS in 237 second half plate appearances at Advanced-A Lakeland.

While Travis 2014 numbers aren't quite as impressive as his awesome 2013 season, he showed a great deal of improvement throughout the year. He missed over a month of action after an oblique injury in early April and hit just .236/.253/.361 through the end of May. After June 1st, Travis had an .861 OPS in 366 plate appearances.

As a prospect, Travis isn't the potential top 100 guy that some sources are making him out to be. Baseball America is particularly high on him for some reason, which is odd considering their typical fascination with physical tools and high upside. Travis isn't that kind of guy. He's a bat-first prospect with a decent hit tool and some gap-to-gap pop. His plate discipline is pretty good and most reports I've seen are complimentary towards his ability to wait for his pitch.

Travis isn't a great defender, but is a decent athlete with a high baseball IQ that helps his physical tools play up as much as possible. He will be able to stick at second base, but probably doesn't have the arm for shortstop or third. The Tigers were toying with moving him to center field late last season, but this is because he was being blocked by Ian Kinsler.

Travis' high baseball IQ also helps his speed play up on the basepaths, resulting in some decent stolen base totals. However, between his lack of actual speed and how much better big league catchers are than their low minors counterparts, don't expect double digit steals. He'll take the extra base whenever it's available, but he's not a burner by any means.

The consistent theme you're seeing here is "high baseball IQ." I haven't read a bad thing about Travis' makeup or character since he joined the organization. By all accounts, he's an outstanding human being. He may not have great physical tools, but he will get the most out of his talent. Prepare to hear words like "hustle," "grinder," and even "scrappy" thrown around, though I'd say that Travis is a shade more talented than most guys characterized by those adjectives.