Scouting profile: Nick Travieso
In the first round of the 2012 Draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected Nick Travieso out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Fla.
In parts of four seasons in the Reds organization, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander has lived up to the expectations of being the 14th selection in the Draft. In fact, his 2014 season at Class A Dayton in the Midwest League was so good he was named the Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He went 14-5 with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. During the 2015 season, Travieso posted a 2.70 ERA in 19 starts with Class A Advanced Daytona.
In high school, Travieso was dedicated to becoming a professional baseball player, forgoing much of the frivolity and social opportunities so he could concentrate on baseball.
His efforts to date have earned Travieso the No. 6 ranking on the Reds' Top 30 Prospects list by MLBPipeline.com.
I have watched several of Travieso's starts in this year's Arizona Fall League. I have been struck by his consistency and his ability to take control in each of his outings.
The son of a former college pitcher, Travieso has shown a mix of three quality pitches. I have seen a live fastball in the 93-95 mph range, a very good slider that he throws mostly at 87-88 mph and a workable changeup that he uses more sparingly. He brings that third pitch at 85 mph.
While his moving and sinking fastball induces ground balls, it is his slider that changes the balance and the eye level of the hitter. It is deceptive enough to cause weak contact. I have seen the slider as slow as the low-80s. The velocity change on the pitch gives hitters something else to overcome.
Travieso throws strikes. He can lose his concentration at times, but in general, he is around the strike zone and doesn't fall behind in counts.
Travieso is upright on the mound and uses his legs well to gain excellent momentum in his delivery. He throws from his hands over his head in his windup and has a high three-quarter arm slot.
Travieso's delivery is a bit inconsistent, as there are times he throws a bit across his body, changing his release point and losing his landing spot. He often lands with his right foot crossing over his left foot and falling off toward the first-base (glove) side.
A tough pitcher, Travieso has improved his command and control as he has progressed in the Reds' system. He will have to watch his conditioning and keep his weight in check.
Travieso has a tough, bulldog-type mound demeanor and presence. I especially like the way he is not afraid to work inside, establishing that the entire plate belongs to him as well as the hitter.
Travieso has a strong arm. His fastball may even increase in velocity as he continues to develop. He is equally effective against both right- and left-handed hitters.
Occasionally Travieso doesn't repeat his delivery, and that causes a reduction in his command and control consistency. In addition, there are times he reaches back and tries to get additional velocity on his fastball. The end result is often a loss of command and less movement on his pitches.
His changeup still needs work to be an effective pitch that can be used with confidence. While the fastball is good and I believe the slider is above-average, a consistently average to above-average third pitch would solidify his repertoire and make him more viable as a rotation starter able to go deep in games.
I find this interesting
The Reds had a very good feel for his ability prior to the 2012 Draft. Travieso was a high school teammate of Nicholas Arias, who is the son of Reds director of international scouting Tony Arias.
The future for Travieso
If he continues to make progress on his changeup, Travieso will have the solid three-pitch repertoire he will need to start. He can become a trusted member at the mid-to-back end of the Reds' rotation after another year or so of seasoning.
Travieso in a word