Boston Red Sox: Sam Travis on the outside looking in
By Mike El-Far
Boston Red Sox prospect Sam Travis doesn’t appear to have a clear path to the big leagues this season, but remains a bright part of the future.
Sam Travis, currently the 4th ranked prospect in the Boston Red Sox system, was poised to make his MLB debut in the 2017 season. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL on May 31st last year.
Travis was the International League leader in RBI’s at the time, and was sidelined for the rest of the season. Had he stayed healthy, it is very likely he would have been a September call-up.
Going into the 2017 season, the position of first base is one that could see many different players. Hanley Ramirez will more than likely take over the DH role that David Ortiz has occupied for the last 14 years. One move Dave Dombrowski made was the one-year signing of Mitch Moreland. There is a high likelihood that Ramirez and Moreland will swap between first and DH.
While Travis is doubtful to be medically cleared by Opening Day, he is projected to be ready by early May. So what happens to Travis?
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Enter the Clay Buchholz trade. With the MLB roster now a little bit lighter, could Travis fill that role? Personally, I think the answer is no. Moreland and Ramirez will probably play almost every game at first base, and the other will more than likely DH.
Sam Travis has not shown any potential that he would be a candidate for a starting job at another position. If he was to switch positions, it would be assumed that third base would be the most logical. It’s highly unlikely that Travis, making the league minimum, is played over Pablo Sandoval and his $17 million salary.
But it’s not all bad news for Mr. Travis. The move made by Dave Dombrowski to sign Mitch Moreland on a one-year deal and not commit multiple years to a big name free agent shows the belief the organization has in Travis. Keeping his position unblocked, in a big market like Boston, is very encouraging for the 23 year-old.
Next: Moreland signing was a smart move
While Hanley will be in Boston for the foreseeable future, Moreland is here on a one-year deal. In the worst-case scenario for him, Travis will spend almost all of the 2017 season in Pawtucket, and should factor as one of the more important September callups. If Moreland falters, Travis could factor into Boston’s plans even earlier.