- Full name Travis Norton Denker
- Born 08/05/1985 in Fountain Valley, CA
- Profile Ht.: 5'9" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Brea Olinda
- Debut 05/21/2008
- Drafted in the 21st round (631st overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Giants acquired Denker as the player to be named in the trade that sent pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney to the Dodgers in August. Denker made an immediate impression with his new club, hitting a grand slam and a two-run double in his first game for San Jose. He remained a major force as San Jose scrapped to the California League title, hitting .480 in the playoffs despite a strained quad. Denker is a fireplug who generates plenty of power despite his size. However, as he has faced better pitching moving up the minor league ladder, his homer totals have declined from 23 in 2005 to 16 in 2006 to 11 last year. Denker can hit in any count and has drawn 272 walks against 318 strikeouts over his minor league career--numbers not often seen among San Francisco's position prospects. He turns the double play well enough and has average range and arm strength but stiff infield actions. His speed is average at best. The Dodgers had planned to send Denker to the Arizona Fall League, and the Giants might have done the same but already had their rosters set when the trade went down in August. His value lies in his bat and his tenacity, and he'll probably jump all the way to Triple-A this season.
After Denker's strong predraft workout at Dodger Stadium in 2003, club officials compared him to Ron Cey and Marcus Giles. They were prepared to take him in the seventh round but his bonus demands scared off other clubs, so Los Angeles let him slide until the 21st round and signed him for $100,000. Denker's best tool is his bat. He has a thick, squatty build that gives him good power. He generates good bat speed, drives the ball to all fields and could be a perennial 20-homer player in the big leagues. Where he will play when he gets there is the problem. Denker has poor range, stiff actions and a fringe-average arm. He catches what's hit to him and worked diligently with Dodgers infield instructor Dave Anderson on turning double plays, showing gradual improvement. He's also a below-average runner. He has a strong work ethic and good makeup. Denker could be moved to left field in the future, but should spend 2006 as an infielder in high Class A.