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Reds' Travieso named Fall League Pitcher of the Week

Cincy's No. 6 prospect allowed two runs in two starts, striking out nine over nine innings

MESA, Ariz. -- Reds prospect Nick Travieso, a right-handed pitcher for Peoria, has been named Arizona Fall League Pitcher of the Week. Travieso allowed just two runs and struck out nine over nine innings and two starts.

After Travieso saw his first two scheduled starts for the Peoria Javelinas delayed due to rain, he was concerned that he might not get the opportunity to start during the Arizona Fall League season.

"Being from Florida I'm used to having a lot of rainouts and whatnot," said Travieso, the Reds' No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. "But to be out in Arizona and have it be the same thing, I was kind of worried."

Once the weather cleared up and he was able to show his skill, the 21-year-old posted a 1.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts over three starts.

"It's pretty cool actually," Travieso said. "I've been working on the stuff that the Reds want me to and it just shows that hard work pays off."

Travieso has seen his innings increase. In his last start, he pitched five innings with only one earned run and six strikeouts.

"I really just want to build up my innings for next year," Travieso said. "It feels great going five. My pitching coach let me go back out there so I was just gonna go back out there and compete."

His current pitching coach is Derrin Ebert, the same one he had during his time with the Rookie-level AZL Reds. While he was growing up, Travieso's pitching guidance came mostly from his dad, so he was hesitant during his first experience with Ebert.

"Really having a pitching coach for the first time was a little different," Travieso said. "I realized that these guys are only here to help you, not hurt you. He's a great guy and I really like working with him."

During the rest of his time in the Fall League, Travieso wants to work on diversifying his pitches. His fastball topped out at 97 mph in his last two starts, but he has been working on improving his changeup to be more effective.

"I hadn't really been using it in my first two starts, but in my last start Ebert said I had to throw it because they really wanted to see it," Travieso said. "That was a really big step for me to just get comfortable with it and get the arm speed and everything right."

His focus is on the Fall League, but Travieso also took time to follow the World Series, watching former Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto win a championship with his new team, the Kansas City Royals. Travieso had the opportunity to get to know Cueto during Spring Training and receive some tips on his pitching.

"I fed off Johnny a lot during Spring Training and I was blessed to go to big league camp this year," Travieso said. "Talking to him about my changeup, it's come a really, really long way for me."

The right-handed pitcher wants to do more than just sustain the growth he's had. Travieso is looking forward to keeping up the work on his changeup and improving his curveball during the rest of his time in Arizona. If he can keep all four of his pitches down and in the zone, he believes he will be successful not only at this level, but beyond.

"I just want everyone to know that I want to go out there every day to compete. That's the biggest thing," Travieso said. "I want to win and I'm here to win. At the end of the day, if I can help my team win in any way then it's a successful day."

Zuriel Loving is a contributor for
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