- Full name Travis Timothy Demeritte
- Born 09/30/1994 in New York, NY
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 180 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Winder-Barrow
- Debut 08/02/2019
Drafted in the 1st round (30th overall) by the Texas Rangers in 2013 (signed for $1,900,000).
View Draft ReportScouts voted Demeritte a preseason first-team All-American at third base, a position he played last year for East Cobb as it won the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla. Demeritte struggled throughout that event until going 3-for-3 with a double in the championship game. While he's a shortstop, pitcher and leadoff hitter in high school, scouts see Demeritte as a profile third baseman. He hit 19 home runs in his first two seasons and committed to South Carolina last summer, so scouts were a bit put off by Demeritte's slow start to the season. He'd heated up as the season progressed as his natural athleticism came into play. He has whip in his bat and some quick-twitch in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. He generates excellent bat speed and has a chance to hit for above-average power if he better develops his approach and feel for hitting. He's quick enough for shortstop now but fits better defensively at third base, and some scouts think he could handle second. His overall speed is just average, and scouts consider his arm above-average. He's his team's No. 1 starter and has posted gaudy numbers this spring, but teams that like Demeritte are buying an infielder with offensive upside.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Rangers drafted Demeritte 30th overall in 2013 and traded him to the Braves in July 2016 for starter Lucas Harrell and reliever Dario Alvarez. Demeritte finished 2016 tied for 11th in the minors with 28 home runs. While 25 of them came in the hitter-friendly California League, the total demonstrates his power potential. Demeritte also paced the South Atlantic League with 25 homers in 2014 at age 19 before testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic often used to flush the body of another drug, and received an 80-game suspension in 2015. He possesses quick, strong hands that generate plus bat speed and backspin. His problem comes in making consistent contact. Demeritte struggles with pitch recognition and chases too many pitches outside the strike zone by being overly aggressive, resulting in a strikeout rate pushing 40 percent, which includes a career-high 175 punchouts in 2016. He has made steady improvements at second base after playing shortstop in high school. His hands are not smooth, but he has good arm strength and above-average range and athleticism. He made more contact while still hitting for power in the Arizona Fall League, ranking tied for second with four homers. Demeritte is expected to receive his first taste of Double-A in 2017.
The Rangers have done well taking tooled-up prospects with contact troubles and turning them into more polished hitters. Demeritte has plenty of tools, but he hasn't been able to improve his plate coverage. He repeated low Class A Hickory, then in June received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic often used with the intention of trying to flush the system of another drug. After the season, Demeritte played in the Australian Baseball League, where he struggled and led the league in strikeouts. Demeritte has quick hands that generate great bat speed and plus raw power. Strikeouts, however, continue to be a problem, with Demeritte getting beat too frequently in the strike zone and chasing too many pitches off the plate, leading to a 36 percent strikeout rate. A good athlete with average speed and a strong arm, Demeritte mostly played second base, where his defense has improved and he could become a solid-average fielder.
Demeritte, who signed for $1.9 million as the 30th overall pick in 2013, led all low Class A hitters with 25 home runs in 2014 at Hickory, producing power from his quick-twitch hands that generate plus bat speed. With plus power, he's a threat to go over the fence to any part of the park. Like many young Rangers prospects, Demeritte's power comes with a huge strikeout rate (37 percent) and his 171 strikeouts ranked sixth in the minors. He does draw a decent amount of walks, but he still chases too often and is working to improve his plate coverage on the outer half and use right field more frequently. An average runner, Demeritte played mostly second base in 2014. He's athletic, has a strong arm and took to the keystone quickly, with a chance to become an average defender. Demeritte's a risky player, but the upside exists to become a power-hitting second baseman. He probably follows in the footsteps of Lewis Brinson and Nomar Mazara, returning to Hickory to start 2015 with a chance to move up during the season.
The Rangers had two first-round picks in the 2013 draft, including the No. 30 overall pick as compensation for losing free agent Josh Hamilton to the Angels. Texas used that pick on Demeritte, who pitched and played shortstop for his Georgia high school team, and signed him for $1.9 million. His bat is his calling card, with extremely quick hands that enable him to buggy-whip the bat through the zone. He's a quick-twitch athlete with excellent bat speed, so he could grow into average or better power once he gets stronger, though for now he mostly stays gap to gap. Demeritte draws plenty of walks, though for a player whose bat is supposed to be his carrying tool, he struck out at a surprising 28 percent clip in his debut. A shortstop in high school, Demeritte also played third base in about one-third of his games in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He doesn't profile as a true shortstop, so during instructional league the Rangers had him focus on second base. He's an average runner with an above-average arm. The Rangers like to give their infielders the opportunity to move around the diamond, but Demeritte probably will take most of his reps at second in 2014. He's in the mix to open the year at low Class A Hickory.
Scouts voted Demeritte a preseason first-team All-American at third base, a position he played last year for East Cobb as it won the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla. Demeritte struggled throughout that event until going 3-for-3 with a double in the championship game. While he's a shortstop, pitcher and leadoff hitter in high school, scouts see Demeritte as a profile third baseman. He hit 19 home runs in his first two seasons and committed to South Carolina last summer, so scouts were a bit put off by Demeritte's slow start to the season. He'd heated up as the season progressed as his natural athleticism came into play. He has whip in his bat and some quick-twitch in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. He generates excellent bat speed and has a chance to hit for above-average power if he better develops his approach and feel for hitting. He's quick enough for shortstop now but fits better defensively at third base, and some scouts think he could handle second. His overall speed is just average, and scouts consider his arm above-average. He's his team's No. 1 starter and has posted gaudy numbers this spring, but teams that like Demeritte are buying an infielder with offensive upside.
Minor League Top Prospects
Demeritte, who joined the Braves in a trade that sent righthander Lucas Harrell to the Rangers, comes with high risk (175 strikeouts in 455 high Class A at-bats this year). However, he also has plus power, with strong, fast hands, and has improved as a defender. After hitting .272/.352/.583 with 25 home runs in 331 at-bats at hitter-friendly High Desert, some of his homers became doubles in the Carolina League, but he still showed pull power and the quickness to catch up to good fastballs. Demeritte has power to all fields but needs work on pitch recognition and plate discipline. He made up for development he lost last season, when he was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for Furosemid, a diuretic used to flush the system.
Demeritte led the Cal League with 25 home runs when he was traded to the Braves in July, but 17 of those bombs came in High Desert or Lancaster, two parks notorious for inflating home-run totals. Demeritte is more than a one-trick pony, though. Along with huge raw power, he possesses an at-least-average glove at second base, an arm that earned plus grades from some evaluators and above-average speed that helped him steal 13 bases in 16 attempts. He even claimed most exiting player honors in Best Tools balloting. "You don't see many guys who hit the ball out and drive the ball the other way and steal bases and make plays in the field," Inland Empire manager Chad Tracy said. "He was fun to watch." The main issue with Demeritte is making contact. He struck out 33 percent of the time this year.
Demeritte?s career started with a bang when the Georgia prep product homered in his first professional at-bat. The second of two first-round picks by the Rangers, Demeritte performed well in the AZL while offering the tools to project future performance. He has excellent bat speed and while he struck out 28 percent of the time in his first season, Demeritte has a good feel for the strike zone and drew many walks. He has above-average speed, getting down the line in 4.2 to 4.3 seconds, and he makes good decisions on the bases and is an instinctive runner. He has an average arm that could get stronger when the Rangers get him in a throwing program. Scouts question whether Demeritte can stay at shortstop, but they?re confident he can stay on the dirt. He could fit well at second or third base, the latter of which he played 14 times during the AZL season. Regardless of his ultimate position, he should have enough bat to carry him. ?He helps the club win every night,? AZL Rangers manager Kenny Holmberg said, ?and finds a way to get it done.?