Scouting the first start of 2014 for Nick Travieso Doug Gray April 4, 2014 15 Comments Last night 2012 first rounder for the Cincinnati Reds Nick Travieso took the mound for the Dayton Dragons. He allowed 2 runs in 6 innings pitched and had 3 strikeouts without a walk. In the 2013 season with Dayton his stuff was inconsistent from start-to-start, and while we don’t know how it will be yet in 2014, the early returns looked good. The Reds have worked with him on his mechanics throughout his time with the organization and according to Reds field coordinator Bill Doran things seemed to click toward the end of spring training with things for Travieso and he began to notice the difference himself. [private_subscriber] For most of the game Travieso was working with his fastball in the 93-95 MPH range. The pitch was strong on the night and he was controlling it well. The pitch was either at the knees or at the letters, very seldom anywhere between. Of the 22 balls put in play, 15 of them were on the ground in large part due to the fastball working down in the zone. Last year one of the rubs on Travieso was the secondary stuff. His slider would flatten out at times and his change up was a bit firm. Last night in the second inning the slider was a bit flat once again. However in the third inning it began showing more depth and by the 5th inning the pitch was showing itself as an above-average pitch and was the best that I have ever seen the pitch. Topping off the improvement within the game of the pitch though he was also throwing the pitch where he wanted to. He didn’t show the change up too often, so it was tougher to get a read on than the fastball and slider. [/private_subscriber] 15 Responses Josh April 4, 2014 It would be huge for the Reds farm system if Travieso starts to click and reach his potential that allowed him to be drafted 14th overall. I am weary of him, but its a good start. Doug Gray April 4, 2014 I feel like I have consistently been the “high guy” on Travieso in terms of how well I regarded him. Last night felt pretty good in terms of slight validation that I wasn’t crazy as I watched the game. Josh April 4, 2014 No I agree, you have always been higher on Travieso than I am. I guess for awhile I viewed Travieso in a bad light due to the fact we passed on Wacha, especially watching him dominate the postseason while NT struggled in 2013. That being said, I am slowing coming around on him and I hope he takes the next step here in 14′. Def would be a boom for the farm system. He’s very young and has plenty of time to develop. Even Giolito would have been a better pick, but oh well, can’t change it now. Here’s to Nick proving me wrong. Doug Gray April 4, 2014 You can’t let someone else alter how you view someone. Before the 2006 draft I wrote the words “anyone but Drew Stubbs and I will be fine with their draft pick”, but they picked Drew Stubbs. Then I spent the next four years telling other people how wrong they were on him because of his complete lack of power in the minor leagues (I saw that it was going to come despite the lack of production in the power department). Jimmer April 4, 2014 Low K rate. It is proven if you have a low K rate in the low levels your chances of success in the show are nearly 0. Stock April 4, 2014 I think the reason for this is that for the most part pitchers who don’t strike out a lot at the lower levels are not considered prospects. It is kind of like saying that if you were drafted after the 10th round your chances of making it to the majors are slim. Quality pitchers who pitched in the majors last year but didn’t average more than 7.5 k/9 at the lower levels include Justin Masterson, Jeff Locke, Bronson Arroyo, Andrew Cashner and Andy Petitte. There were probably others but didn’t look too hard. Jimmer April 5, 2014 Cashner 8.8 per 9 in low A Masterson 9.4 in low A Others are finesse lefties. Jimmer April 5, 2014 Besides Arroyo Doug Gray April 5, 2014 Give it time. It’s there. It’s going to climb. Jimmer April 5, 2014 K rate at the low levels is indicative of pure “stuff” — it is a troubling sign when your numbers are below average. At a certain point the performance on the field has to get better or a player loses his prospect status. Doug Gray April 5, 2014 And if he were in college right now, we wouldn’t know what his low-a K rate would be through 70 innings. Like I said, give it time. The stuff is there. Roy Halladay had a low K Rate in the minors. He turned out ok. Not everyone, especially pitchers, develop at the same rate. Heck, Homer Bailey took 8 years to develop into the pitcher he is today that misses a ton of bats. His minor league stuff and MLB stuff are completely different. The only pitch that is remotely the same is the fastball. The change up and curveball he threw in the minors don’t exist anymore. Alan Horn April 4, 2014 The Reds have played 4 games. All 4 have been decided by 1 run. 3 of the 4 are losses. The record so far could easily be better with a little more luck and/or production. peppe April 5, 2014 Bring Dusty back Doug Gray April 5, 2014 Bringing back another hitter for the lineup would probably be a better solution. Jim T April 5, 2014 It would have been a good solution for last years team as well.