Red Sox Promote #3 Prospect, Sam Travis from Pawtucket

by Drew Tanguay | Posted on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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The Red Sox are calling up 1st baseman, and #3 prospect in their organization, Sam Travis from Pawtucket. The former 2nd round draft pick has been red hot lately in AAA, and with the Red Sox lacking offensive production prior to their 11-run outburst in game one of the three game series against the Texas Rangers, the club felt like this was the right time to promote the 23-year-old Travis.

Where he will fit in and when he will receive playing time is the main question. As of now, their starting 1st baseman, Mitch Moreland, has been on fire himself, leaving the yard in 3 of the last 4 games, while also leading the majors in doubles this season. When Moreland signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox this past offseason, the plan was to have him play 1B against RHP, while Hanley Ramirez manned the position against LHP. However, that has not been how the situation played out, as Hanley has only played 1B in one game, and even exited that game early with a minor injury. The consensus is that Hanley does not want to play the field, and just DH at full-time. Moreland is just 6-for-24 against LHP thus far, making the move for Travis understandable.

If only Sam Travis could play 3rd base, that would be the perfect fit for Boston, with how much they have struggled with that position this season. After trading away Travis Shaw and top prospect Yoan Moncada, the Red Sox went all-in on 3B Pablo Sandoval, who had a season-ending shoulder surgery early into last season. Sandoval is currently on a rehab assignment with Pawtucket after being placed on the DL for a knee injury. 3B has been a major problem for the Sox this season, both offensively and defensively. With Pablo Sandoval, Marco Hernandez, and Brock Holt all currently on the DL, Deven Marrero has been the regular 3B lately. Marrero, unlike the other players who have found themselves in the lineup at 3B in the first two months of the season, is a great defensive player, but is hitting just .154 with a .214 OBP at the bottom of the lineup.

If Travis was a 3B, or even played the position a little bit in the minors, we could be seeing an immediate positive impact in the Red Sox lineup everyday. However, he is a 1st baseman, and with the Red Sox having prior issues attempting to transform some of their players and prospects to other positions that they have little to no experience with, I do not think they will take this risk with Travis.

My original thought when the Red Sox signed Moreland this offseason to a one-year deal, instead of pursuing Edwin Encarnacion, was to give Travis another season to prepare for the starting 1B job in 2018-2019. Is it the best move to call him up while he’s on fire and then give him limiting playing time, though? Sometimes, not receiving regular playing time can mess with a player’s timing and take them out of their rhythm. Promoting Travis, who is torching AAA pitching in the middle of the Pawtucket order, to just give him at-bats against LHP might cool him off. We will see how John Farrell manages their #3 prospect.

Having Travis get at-bats and see major league pitching this early into the season will be good for his development. If the Red Sox plan is to have him man 1B to begin next season, this call up will give them a glimpse of what he can give them in their lineup.

With the Red Sox sitting in third place of the AL East, at 23-21, hopefully Sam Travis can produce when his name is called upon, and make an impact on this lineup that is currently underachieving.

Travis will likely see his first action for the Sox in game two of the three game series against the Rangers, as they will have LHP Martin Perez on the hill.

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Drew Tanguay
About the Author

Drew is a Sport Management major at Husson University. Aspiring baseball executive. Very passionate about the game of baseball. Follow Drew on Twitter @DTang10.

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