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Prospect Travis turning heads with 'quick bat'

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Sam Travis, the No. 4 Red Sox prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is raking the ball for the second consecutive Spring Training. By next year, he might be Boston's starting first baseman rather than a prospect.

Travis served up another reminder on Monday against the Astros that he is likely the first baseman of the future for the Sox, bashing a three-run homer to left-center that drove in Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Boston and Houston tied, 5-5.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Sam Travis, the No. 4 Red Sox prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is raking the ball for the second consecutive Spring Training. By next year, he might be Boston's starting first baseman rather than a prospect.

Travis served up another reminder on Monday against the Astros that he is likely the first baseman of the future for the Sox, bashing a three-run homer to left-center that drove in Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Boston and Houston tied, 5-5.

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It was by design that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski looked for a short-term solution at first base this season by signing Mitch Moreland to a one-year contract. Travis likely isn't far away, and the Red Sox know it.

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Travis is hitting .333 with two homers and six RBIs in his first 15 at-bats of Grapefruit League action.

"He's pretty exciting with the bat," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We know he can hit the fastball, and he's proven it time and time again. He has an exciting, quick bat and good power."

The only thing that has stopped Travis since the Red Sox drafted him in the second round of the 2014 Draft was an ACL tear of his left knee, suffered this past May 29. However, Travis refuses to look at '16 as a lost year.

"I mean, I was still trying to get better when I was injured, watching games and trying to learn how pitchers are pitching," said Travis. "It's good to be out there and good to get going again."

How is the knee?

"I'm feeling good. I've just got to take care of my body with the training staff, and they've been a great help and everything has been great," said Travis.

The way Boston's roster is set up, Moreland and Ramirez will platoon at first base in 2017, but Travis will make sure he is ready if the Red Sox need him.

His main developmental need at this point?

"He's got to refine defense, there's no doubt," said Farrell. "His footwork around the bag, just smoothing some things out defensively."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Sam Travis