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Thread: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

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    FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/qa-ni...hing-prospect/


    Nick Travieso had an up-and-down first full professional season. That doesnít mean the Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect didnít make great strides. The 2012 first-round pick learned a lot, which is ultimately more important than his 7-4 record or 4.63 ERA with the low-A Dayton Dragons.

    Travieso celebrated his 20th birthday at the end of January, and heíll head into spring training looking to improve on his 2013 campaign. Heíll do so with a better grasp of his mechanics, and full confidence in his plus fastball and swing-and-miss slider.

    ďWhen I came in this spring, I wasnít at my best. Iím not pleased about that. I struggled at the beginning, but now Iím starting to figure it out a little bit.

    ďI guess I kind of tried to do a little too much. I tried to be more than what I am. I had to come around to realizing I got drafted for a reason. What worked for me in high school, Iím starting to go back to now. Iím working with Tony Fossas, my pitching coach. He said, ĎLook, whateverís comfortable for you, just go back to it and figure it out.Ď At the beginning of the year, I felt like I was trying to be too mechanical, trying to look like a pitcher instead of being a pitcher.Ē

    ďThey did [tweak my delivery] a little bit, and tried to stick with it. I worked with it and kept telling myself it would get better. But then I worked with Reds pitching great Tom Browning. He said, ĎLook, all you really want to do is get in a rocking chair out there; get comfortableĎ. From then on ó basically from extended [spring training] Ėit was pretty much straight toward where I want to be.Ē

    On his fastball and getting used to a five-day routine: ďMy fastball is a four-seam. I hardly ever throw a two-seam, unless I really need a ground ball, or if a guy is hitting my fastball pretty well. My velocity has changed a little bit since high school. Itís been a long process of getting used to pitching every five days and [stuff] like that. In high school it was every seven-eight days, so I had a pretty good break between starts. The whole five-day routine kind of took me a while to get used to. Now that itís the end of the season, Iím starting to really get used to it. I hate to have saved it for the end, but thatís how itís worked out.Ē

    On velocity and location: ďWhen Iíve been feeling right, my fastball has been about 92-94 [mph]. Itís been up to 95 now and again. But itís not so much my velo. Itís more that when Iím feeling good, Iím locating well. Iím down in the zone and getting outs. Velocityís not really a big thing weíre looking at this year.

    On his changeup; ďItís been a big development. Iíve worked with Mario Soto ó another Reds great ó on it. He was known for his changeup, so I kind of went to him in extended and said, ĎIím going to need a changeup now, can you help me work on it?í

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    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Probably just me, but that did nothing for my lack of confidence in him turning it around.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    His last 4 starts his OPS against was like .550, so maybe there is something to it. I love his chances next year. When you sit 92-94, have a whip around 1.35, and are a year young for your league holding your own, he's got a good upside.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Going to Mario Soto for help with his change may be the smartest move he ever made actually...
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Going to Mario Soto for help with his change may be the smartest move he ever made actually...
    Agreed. Even more than that I like the realization that he needs that change. As for why he really needs it, this quote jumped out at me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Travieso
    My velocity has changed a little bit since high school.
    Yeah, and not in the good way. Nothing about this kid so far indicates he can be a high velocity dominator. There's a fair amount of effort in his delivery and he's not all that projectable. The temptation, because of his draft position, is to view him like Robert Stephenson, but they are very different animals in terms of pure stuff.

    I think the way forward for Travieso is he's got to develop a solid three-pitch mix and then we're looking at #3 pitcher ceiling for him. Yes, I'm saying if he develops extra pitches he might profile like Jon Moscot. If not, then he's a tight-armed guy better suited to the pen. I hope it works out for him because he seems like a decent kid and it would be good for the Reds if he succeeds, but I think what we've seen so far justifies a more moderate set of expectations for him.
    Last edited by M2; 02-06-2014 at 02:24 PM.
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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    For a kid struggling to adjust he still held his own at 19. That is encouraging to me and says his raw stuff plays up.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    I saw him pitch several times on MILB TV. Underwhelmed. Fastball consistently up in the zone and not overpowering. Breaking stuff inconsistent. Changeup embryonic at best (didn't seem to throw it much). I liked Jackson Stephens better, frankly.

    Still plenty of NT, but he's got miles to go. I do think the bullpen might be better for him long-term, but not yet/
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    I am not a big fan of having multiple pitching coaches working with a guy simultaneously. It is one of those things that sounds good, but in reality, it is usually counter-productive. What usually happens is, the second guy (who wants to come out of this deal looking like a hero) will start trying to change other things besides what he originally set out to do, often without checking on what the first pitching coach was working on. I remember years ago, Rick Sutcliffe used to come in and spend one day with each team in the Padres organization, and the pitching coaches would say it would take them two weeks to get the pitchers back to where they were before Sutcliffe started trying to tinker with everything. Coaches in pro ball are very territorial because their reputations are what keeps them employed.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Nick is a good guy and I am hoping that the year of experience will work wonders. He now sees how competitive the situation is going to be and he is a smart kid. I think he will make some adjustments when it comes to things like conditioning, preparation, etc.

    The interview, which was done last summer, says "When I’ve been feeling right, my fastball has been about 92-94." That is true, but read the entire quote. He had a lot of games when he could not get to that 92-94 range. He had games when he was 89-91 and then started popping it 94-96, out of nowhere.

    As I have said before, if you like Travieso as a top-10 guy, you are basing that on the idea that he can get back to what the scouts saw in high school. You are not basing it on anything that happened in 2013. He was not a consistent 92-94 in 2013. Hopefully he can get to that point, and go beyond it. The Reds certainly have not given up on him. Way, way too early to even think about whether it will be as a starter, reliever, or as a one, three, five, or whatever. Lets see how he develops because if he gets to the big leagues, it is going to be as a pitcher that barely resembles what we saw in 2013. I like the kid and want to see what he can do this season.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Travieso strikes me as one of those guys, that needs coaching. He needs to understand his mechanics, and how to prepare, both physically and mentally. He has raw talent, lets see if he can do the tuning.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Probably a bust when we look back on it 10 years from now. I'd love to be wrong.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Hold on there. He just turned 20 years old, has 25 career appearances, and was throwing 98 mph in high school. He has had no major injuries and is a good kid. Let's see how he does in 2014.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Hold on there. He just turned 20 years old, has 25 career appearances, and was throwing 98 mph in high school. He has had no major injuries and is a good kid. Let's see how he does in 2014.
    This, 100 times.

    I understand the hesitance from some, but I also think that people are missing the entire picture. Yes, there were games where he threw 88-90 for the entire game. But there were at least two games I saw where he was 93-95 the entire game too and touched 97.

    There are times where he can still flash elite velocity. And the kid throws strikes. There are a lot of worse things out there to be concerned about than that a year after being drafted.

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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    People preach patience never ending with YRod and Duran and young International prospects but let it be a high draft pick that doesn't fly right out of the gate and he's a bust after one year.
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: FanGraphs Q&A: Nick Travieso

    I understand he has flashed elite velocity, but the reason I question him is the fact he hovers around 92 most of the time. I don't understand why a guy that threw 98 in high school has decreased in velocity, just seems odd to me.

    For the prospect gurus on here:

    If Travieso turns 24 years old and is pitching 90-92 consistently is it likely for him to even rank top 30 prospect on the Reds farm?

    I know a lot can happen between now and then.

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