“Why is Devon Travis a non-prospect?” asks Jake in yesterday’s Keith Law chat at ESPN.com. “The better question is why you think he’s a prospect,” Law replies.
“What I’m told by independent scouts, like from other organizations — they say, ‘well, he’s average defensively, but the bat is really something special. He’s a guy that could win a batting title some year,'” said Bob Elliott on Thursday’s edition of Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590.
“His bat doesn’t profile anywhere else he might play. He has leaky hips and starts his swing from a dead stop with his hands loaded low, making up for it a bit with strength, something that won’t work as well against major league pitching,” says Law in his analysis of the transaction.
“In the case of Travis, he can defend very well at second base and he can flat out hit the baseball. The hitting mechanics are a little unorthodox—namely hitting off his front foot most of the time—but he consistently barrels the ball and drives it to all fields with very good strength for his size,” writes Mark Anderson of Baseball Prospectus.
“He taunts believers with the potential for a .280 average, 8-12 home runs and 10-12 steals but still has to answer questions as to whether he can adjust to advanced pitching,” writes Craig Goldstein in another piece at BP.
“He might be average in the field,” says an NL scout in an Elliott piece from Friday’s Toronto Sun. “But the bat. He’ll take Goins’ job for sure. He will hit a lot of doubles.”
“While Travis has put up very solid minor-league numbers so far, the tools don’t necessarily match the statistical profile. He has the potential to be a solid average hitter with limited power, and his limited athleticism and quickness limits his value defensively,” writes Jordan Gorosh in the same BP article as Goldstein.
“‘He makes solid contact and doesn’t strike out a lot. I’ve heard some people throw a Howie Kendrick on him. He might be a second base version of Bill Madlock.’ Third baseman Madlock was a career .305 hitter who won four batting titles with the Pittsburgh Pirates,” writes Elliott, quoting the same scout.
“That’s so inanely hyperbolic,” tweets Ewan Ross in response to Elliott’s radio quotes. ” I talked to 3 or 4 people, and ranged from .270 hitter, to not a big leaguer.”
“Glove works very well at keystone even with fringe arm,” writes BP’s Anderson. “Reads angles well and makes more plays than he should; good footwork when he gets to the ball; exceptionally soft hands; lightning quick on the pivot; turns an excellent double play.” He adds that, defensively, it’s an “above-average total package.”
“He’s a below-average defender at second base,” says Law. “The defense is fringy, as his range is limited and the arm is not a strength either,” adds Gorosh.
“An Altuve-type player that ultimately will be a two-hole hitter,” says Jays scout Dave May Jr., according to Alex Anthopoulos, via Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
The Jays, apparently, just dealt for a below-average/average/above-average defensive second baseman who will win batting titles/hit like Altuve/be a .280 hitter with 10-12 HR power/be unable to adjust to big league pitching with his unorthodox swing mechanics.
WELL THAT SURE AS FUCK CLEARS IT UP.*
*Yes, yes, I know there’s not every going to be unanimity of analysis on a prospect, but this is pretty damn divergent! Also I really wanted to do the Photoshop and it’s Friday. Sue me.