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MLB Rookie Profile: Sam Travis, 1B, Boston Red Sox

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Red Sox rookie Sam Travis brings his right-handed bat to Fenway Park.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon the Boston Red Sox promoted first base prospect Sam Travis to the major league roster. Here’s a quick look at what to expect.

The Red Sox drafted Travis in the second round in 2014 from Indiana University. He was a potent bat for three seasons in the Hoosiers lineup, hitting a combined .327/.410/.544 in 721 at-bats, and also had an excellent track record in wooden-bat college summer ball.

He got his pro career off to a strong debut after signing, hitting .316/.351/.467 between the New York-Penn and South Atlantic Leagues, then continued to rip up the Carolina and Eastern Leagues in 2015 with a .307/.381/.452 line. A torn ACL cut short his 2016 season in Triple-A but he’s rebounded this year, hitting 286/.353/.452 in Triple-A.

Travis ranked fifth on the pre-season Boston Red Sox Top 20 prospects list for 2017 with the following comment:

5) Sam Travis, 1B, Grade B-: Age 23, second round pick in 2014 from Indiana University; hit .272/.332/.434 with six homers in 173 at-bats in Triple-A until season ended early with knee injury; scouts love the bat and they aren’t easily impressed with right-handed hitting first baseman; projects as .280ish hitter with moderate power; defensively limited to first base due to lack of speed or plus arm strength; should be ready soon if healthy. ETA late 2017.

Listed at 6-0, 205, Travis is a right-handed hitter and thrower born August 27, 1993. His glove at first base is adequate at best; he catches what he get to, but lacks range and agility and doesn’t run or throw well enough to be attractive as a potential outfielder.

What he does is hit: his combination of plate discipline and bat speed should play well at the major league level. His swing is more of a line drive producer than a loft stroke but his pop should not be underestimated. He can mash homers to left field or line doubles the opposite way and has shown few weaknesses in the minors, able to handle both fastballs and breaking stuff.

Long-term he projects as a first baseman/DH and I’ll stick with my pre-season projection that he can hit .280 with moderate power, with more possible eventually. Here’s a look at what he can do when he gets a hold of something.