Minor League Prospect Note: Travis Shaw, 1B, Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox drafted Travis Shaw in the ninth round out of Kent State University in 2011. Very effective in college, he hit .330/.458/.622 with 15 homers, 49 walks, and 41 strikeouts in 230 at-bats as a sophomore in 2010, followed by a .307/.401/.553 mark with 14 homers, 40 walks, and 40 strikeouts in 244 at-bats as a junior in '11. Despite his strong college numbers and a good track record in the Cape Cod League, he was just a ninth round pick due to questions about his defense, plus worry that a long swing would inhibit his ability to catch up to good velocity.
A third baseman in college, he's primarily a first baseman this year at High-A Salem, and rather error-prone with 11 miscues so far. On the other hand, his bat has been quite impressive: he's hitting .306/.399/.535 with 13 homers, 27 doubles, 47 walks, and 71 strikeouts in 314 at-bats. He ranks third in the league in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS, and fifth in batting average. A reverse platoon split stands out (.348/.408/.674 against lefties, but .288/.396/.477 against right-handers) although I don't know if that really means anything.
So far, although Shaw's swing was considered long as an amateur, Carolina League pitchers have been unable to expose the holes. We'll have to see what happens in Double-A, but he's clearly mastered the High-A level.