Sam Travis could be the next big thing in Boston
When the Red Sox picked up Mitch Moreland, no one expected his arrival to last for the long haul. Sam Travis was a minor leaguer in the Sox farm system who has proven that he can hit very well. Moreland is the perfect stop gap player for when Travis is ready for the show. When I think of Sam Travis I think of power. A lot of it. Some have considered Sam Travis the replacement to Hanley Ramirez at 1st base. Travis went down last year with an ACL injury ending his season after less than two months of playing in Pawtucket.
Looking forward, assuming all goes well, the Sox future could have Travis playing 1st base with Hanley Ramirez as the permanent DH. Moreland will be working his way into the lineup mostly against righties. Had Travis not gotten injured, there’s a chance he’d be playing in Boston right now. Also the Sox would not have had to make the Moreland signing. Injuries are unfortunately part of life. Moreland figures to be the odd man out if it comes to that situation.
We still have Hanley Ramirez for another two seasons guaranteed and a 5th year which becomes guaranteed if he gets 1,050 plate appearances over the course of 2017 and 2018. There have been a lot of players getting hype, predominately Andrew Benintendi. Travis isn’t that far off and if he can put together a decent spring training followed up by a great showing in the minors, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the first call up from AAA. Furthermore, if Hanley Ramirez or Moreland were to get injured for some reason, Travis would again be the guy to get called up.
No one is expecting him to be the next David Ortiz overnight but several teammates have been awestruck by his power. Travis is a righty who can hit both lefties and righties. No complaints there. One scout went so far as to call him the next Paul Goldschmidt. If that isn’t a big compliment, I don’t know what is. Imagine having a future Goldy on your team, the sky is the limit and that’s definitely good news for Sox fans.
Travis’ numbers in the minors are nothing to frown at either. In 47 games before his injury, he posted a .272 batting average with 6 home runs and 29 RBI’s. For that sample size, we can assume that he there’s a little tail off at some point during the season with total numbers in the 15-20 homers & 85-90 RBI’s range. Travis’ numbers in Pawtucket reminded me of former Sox outfielder Trot Nixon.
In 1998, Nixon posted a .310/23/74/26 line in 147 games. Nixon also tallied 26 bases, a number he never came close to again with a career high of 8 coming in 2000. Sam Travis is not going to be a stolen bases threat and I’ll further say that I’m okay with that if he can slug 20-30 home runs in a season down the line. If Travis can crack a .270/18/70 line in his first full season in Boston, I’d be content and consider that a win. Going forward, that would solidify his spot in 2018 while also spelling the end for Mitch Moreland in a Sox uni.
Photo Credit: David Goldman – AP Photo