- Full name Travis R. Shaw
- Born 04/16/1990 in Washington Court House, OH
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Kent State
- Debut 05/08/2015
Drafted in the 9th round (292nd overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2011 (signed for $110,000).
View Draft ReportTravis Shaw has the size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and lefthanded power that scouts want in a third baseman, plus good bloodlines. His father Jeff made two all-star teams and saved 203 games in a 12-year major league career. He gets pull-happy and doesn't always catch up to quality fastballs, so how much he'll hit in pro ball remains in question. To his credit, he batted a solid .260/.378/.402 in the Cape Cod League last summer. Though Shaw has the hands and arm strength for the hot corner, he lacks quickness and agility, so he'll probably have to move to first base as a pro.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After a 2013 struggle at Double-A Portland, Shaw implemented a leg kick that paid immediate dividends with a monster Arizona Fall League performance that carried over to a repeat assignment in 2014. He hit his way out of Portland after 47 games before hitting a wall at Triple-A Pawtucket, with a spike in strikeout rate and drop in walk rate. Still, Shaw showed at least average power, with the ability to drive the ball out from left-center to right field, and he led the system with 21 homers. Shaw's willingness to drive the ball to the opposite field produces both solid plate discipline and a potentially average hit tool and excellent fit for Fenway Park. That, in combination with above-average first base defense and good instincts that draw from a lifetime around the game (his father Jeff was an all-star closer), suggests a player who could be a second-division first baseman or a primary platoon option on a playoff team.
The son of former all-star closer Jeff Shaw, Travis excelled at high Class A Salem in 2012 and earned a second-half promotion to Double-A Portland on the strength of terrific strike-zone judgment and rock-steady power production in the form of 19 homers and 44 doubles. At his best, Shaw mixes the ability to drive the ball to left-center field--something that bodes well for any hitter who calls Fenway Park home--with flashes of pull power. But he became too pull-conscious while struggling at Portland in 2013, batting .221/.342/.394 and losing 25 extra-base hits from his ledger. Shaw reestablished his credentials with a standout performance in the 2013 Arizona Fall League--five homers and a .705 slugging percentage in 17 games--after he incorporated a leg kick to force him to stay back on the ball. That AFL showing rekindled the notion that he has a chance to be a first baseman with solid on-base skills, gap power and solid-average defense. The likelihood of becoming a big league regular depends on his ability to add more power without selling out his approach, something he'll work on at Triple-A Pawtucket in 2014.
The Red Sox originally drafted Shaw in the 32nd round out of an Ohio high school in 2008, but they had to wait until he played three years at Kent State to sign him for $110,000 as a ninth-rounder in 2011. The son of former all-star reliever Jeff Shaw, Travis was one of the most pleasant surprises in the system last year. He led the Carolina League in on-base percentage (.397) and slugging (.517) and continued to hit after a promotion to Double-A. He also earned MVP honors at the California/Carolina League all-star game after hitting a two-run homer, and recognition from managers as the CL's best defensive first baseman. Shaw has a fluid lefthanded stroke suited for Fenway Park, as he can pull pitches for home runs or take them the other way for potential doubles off the Green Monster. His disciplined approach never wavers, as he continued to work counts even when he went 27 games without a homer to open the 2012 season or when he tired at the end of his first full pro season. Boston thinks he can post high batting averages and on-base percentages while hitting for solid power. Shaw has below-average speed and athleticism, but he moves well for his size and has a strong arm. A third baseman in college, he has shown soft hands and good footwork since moving to first base in pro ball. Now that his stock has surpassed that of Michael Almanzar and Kolbrin Vitek, Shaw could get more of an opportunity at the hot corner in 2013. He'll likely return to Portland to open the season.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive 1B in the Carolina League in 2012