Oregon State's scorching Bazzana checks in with Pipeline Podcast

March 27th, 2024

Even for those who aren't heavily invested in college baseball, it was tough to miss what Oregon State's Travis Bazzana did last weekend. MLB Pipeline's No. 3 Draft prospect slugged four straight leadoff home runs -- a feat only accomplished once in AL/NL history -- as he continued his dynamic start to conference play.

Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Jason Ratliff were joined by the red-hot Bazzana on the latest Pipeline Podcast. The second baseman -- who hits leadoff for the Beavers -- tallied six home runs in his last four contests, boosting his season total to 14 in 23 games.

"I wouldn't even say I'm getting out of my approach," Bazzana said. "I feel like I've made sure, to an extra level, to not get beat ... [to] get the swing off, get the barrel out just subconsciously. I'm not out there swinging for the fences first at-bat."

The 21-year-old Australian received a Minor League contract offer from the Tigers when he was 16 years old, but his mentors guided him toward the opportunity to player Power Five baseball in the United States.

Oregon State noticed Bazzana in fall 2019 at an Arizona showcase. Other West Coast schools also made offers, but impressed with the Beavers' track record, he committed to Oregon State.

"I figured if I could get into a good college program and play 180 games or more before I'm eligible to be drafted, that was going to be the best thing for me to show my value as a player," Bazzana said. "And at 16, I hadn't felt like I grown into the player I could be nor did I feel like I had been seen legitimately."

Projected to be a Top 5 pick in the 2024 Draft, Bazzana expects that to boost the baseball's profile in his home country. He's already aware of the younger generation in Australia taking note of his status.

"It's kind of hard to fathom because you don't know what it's going to do or mean," Bazzana said. "But I've seen what a No. 1 pick or Top 5 pick did to NBA in Australia and basketball in Australia, and I'm starting to see the outcomes of just doing what I've done so far."

Looking up to former Oregon State players Steven Kwan, Trevor Larnach, Nick Madrigal and Adley Rutschman, Bazzana is striving to be part of continuing that legacy.

"I wanted to be in a program with a rich winning history and guys that got developed and went on to be Major Leaguers," he said. "I am really that I got the opportunity to be here, and hopefully, we can win a fourth national championship this year. We have a pretty strong squad, and that's the goal."

On the MLB Pipeline Podcast, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo are your tour guides through all the unfolding stories and breaking news of baseball's top prospects. Each week, you'll find out about the stars of tomorrow from the guys who know today. Download, subscribe and help others find the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite platform.