Sam Travis, 23, the Red Sox’s first baseman of the future, was called up from AAA Pawtucket on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Travis made his MLB debut Wednesday, May 24, 2017. The Red Sox will look to Travis to help provide a spark to an offense that currently ranks ninth in the American League in runs scored.
Here’s what you need to know about Travis:
1. Travis Made His First MLB Start on May 24, 2017
The #RedSox today selected 1B Sam Travis to the active ML roster from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned RHP Hector Ve… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 23, 2017
Travis was called up by the Red Sox before their game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday and will get his first start Wednesday, against Martin Perez. He is slotted to bat 7th in the order and play first base.
Chris Sale goes for history, @DoctorChill6 makes his @MLB debut as #RedSox face Rangers tonight:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 24, 2017
The Red Sox plan to hit Travis against left-handed starters, while veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland will start against right-handed pitchers. Entering Tuesday, the Red Sox have hit only four homers this season against lefties, fewest in the majors, according to ESPN. They have a .718 OPS against lefties.
Travis told ESPN that he expects to have his family at the game:
“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Travis. “Something you’ve been working for your whole life. It’s pretty amazing. I can’t put it into words. I’m just here to help the team win.”
2. Travis Was Tearing Up AAA Pitching
Travis’ performance in AAA with the Pawtucket Red Sox, combined with a shoulder-injury to Hanley Ramirez, which has changed the teams’ plans to platoon Ramirez and Moreland at first base, prompted the club to bring Travis up earlier than expected.
For the season, Travis is batting .286 with four home runs, 14 RBI, .353 OBP and a .805 OPS. Travis, rebounding from a knee-injury that cut his 2016 season short, got off to a slow start, but has been on a hot-streak as of late. In his last 23 games, he has been tearing up the league, batting .344 with six doubles, three home runs and a .909 OPS, according to ESPN.
In 2016, at the age of 22, Travis hit .286 with six home runs, 29 RBI and a .805 OPS in 47 games for Pawtucket, before a knee-injury cut his season short. His 29 RBI were the most in the league at the time.
Travis had a very good spring training in 2016, batting .536 with 2 home runs, and a team-leading 13 RBI, in 28 AB’s.
3. Travis Is a Top 100 Prospect
The Red Sox selected Travis in the second round with the 67th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He signed for $846,800.
Travis recently was rated as the Red Sox’s fourth-best prospect and the No. 98 prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law, according to ESPN.
4. Travis Was Teammate’s with Kyle Schwarber at Indiana University
Travis and Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber both played their college baseball for the Indiana Hoosiers.
In 2014, Travis won the Big Ten player of the year award. That season he helped the 18th-ranked Hoosiers win the Big Ten regular season title. Travis led the league that year in home runs, RBI, hits and total bases, according to the Chicago Tribune. Travis’ .357 batting average was third in the league, and he did not commit an error all season at first base.
Travis also was also named Big Ten freshman of the year in 2012.
5. Travis Played For Team USA
Travis and Schwarber were also teammates on Team USA’s Collegiate National Team.