by: Jon Davis
#5 Nick Travieso RHP
@NTravieso21 on Twitter
The streak continues at number five with another pitcher in the form of 2012 first round pick Nick Travieso. For the second year in a row, the Reds selected a high school pitcher with their 1st round pick. Travieso is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound righty, who was drafted out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Florida and will only be 19-years old at the start of next season. In his senior year at Archbishop, he recorded 100 strikeouts and 17 walks in 65 innings, leading to a stellar 0.76 ERA. Last year in his first taste of professional baseball, in a very tiny sample size of 21 innings, he had a 4.71 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
After Travieso was drafted, Reds Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley compared him to Matt Cain. He has a fastball that will sit in the mid 90’s with a lot of natural life and has the ability to hit the upper 90's. He complements the fastball with a potentially plus hard slider that is constantly progressing. The fastball-slider duo alone would be enough for him to excel as a reliever, but for him to reach his ceiling he will need to develop his change-up, which has shown promise so far. Travieso’s pitching mechanics are very good, with nice balance and a smooth appearance, which should bode well for his ability to throw strikes. Like with most young pitchers, he will need to refine his command at the next level, but he shows solid instincts & presence on the mound. If he is able to do that, and develop that third pitch, he shouldn't have any problems reaching his ceiling as a solid number one or two for the Reds in the future.
It is safe to say that Travieso, just like Stephenson, is a few years away, but both do have a very high ceiling. Travieso could start the year in Billings or in Dayton with Stephenson. He is on a similar track as Stephenson, which would put his arrival at 2016, but he could be in the 2015 mix given that he pitched the year he was drafted, and Stephenson did not. Well, either way you shake it out, in a few years the Reds are going to have some decisions to make regarding the starting rotation. They could be looking at Travieso, Stephenson, Daniel Corcino and Tony Cingrani all being ready for the Reds rotation, not to mention still having Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos & possibly Aroldis Chapman under contract.
Click here to check out our Q&A interview with Nick from August.
A look back on the previous prospect posts...
No. 1 - Billy Hamilton
No. 2 - Robert Stephenson
No. 3 - Tony Cingrani
No. 4 - Daniel Corcino