Draft : : Top Prospects
Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Draft Focus: Nick Travieso

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game
Every weekday leading up to the 2012 MLB Draft, Perfect Game will be providing a scouting profile on a notable draft-eligible prospect.  Stay tuned to Perfect Game and be sure to visit the Draft Page for all of the latest info and reports pertaining to the draft.

Nick Travieso Perfect Game profile

Position: RHP
Height: 6-3
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: L/R
Birthdate: January 31, 1994
High School: Archbishop McCarthy
City, State: Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Travel Team: South Florida Elite
Commitment: Miami
Projected Draft Round: 1S, 2

Perfect Game first saw Travieso on the mound in the summer after his freshman year and he was an immediate attention getter, as the already big and filled out right hander touched 92-93 mph at the BCS 15U National Championships in Fort Myers. That kind of velocity put Travieso right at the top of the list of hardest throwing freshman in the country.

Very little has changed since then as far as velocity goes and the Florida native’s relative standing in the 2012 class. Travieso topped out at 95 mph frequently during this past summer and has really opened eyes this spring when he has touched 98-99 mph a couple of times while sitting in the 93-95 mph range.

One thing that is notable about Travieso’s resume as a pitcher is that it actually isn’t that extensive for a player who made his mark at such an early age. Travieso has attended two powerhouse high schools, first American Heritage as a freshman and sophomore and Archbishop McCarthy since then, and those schools have featured stacked pitching staffs to the point where Travieso only threw 18 innings as a junior. Because he also swings a powerful right handed bat, Travieso has also been featured more prominently as a middle of the order hitter and corner infielder for the South Florida Elite in summer ball.

The reason that Travieso doesn’t get much first round talk among scouts despite his mid- to upper-90s fastball and completely clean health record is the same as hard throwing college relievers such as Oklahoma’s Damien Magnifico and St. Edwards’ Stephen Johnson. It’s hard to project his pitching mechanics, arm action and full complement of pitches to a starter’s role, although Travieso has a greater benefit of time on his side, particularly given his relatively fresh arm.

Travieso has a well-paced delivery with a compact and short high arm circle in back and gets very good use of his strong lower half to generate power and torque prior to release. He also leans off pretty severely on release and spins to the first base side. The result is when Travieso releases the ball he’s coming inside and over it in a pronounced way. That makes it very difficult for him (or any pitcher) to get on top of and out front of a breaking ball and create consistent quality spin on the ball and also presents somewhat of a tip to advanced hitters because he has to change his hand angle and position for a breaking ball.

His breaking ball has gone between a upper-70s slurve type curveball to a low- to mid-80s slider over the past year and reports out of Florida this spring seem to indicate that he’s becoming more consistent throwing a true slider with more consistency as he gets more repetitions. He also throws a changeup that is in the developing stages and pitchers with this type of arm action and mechanics have frequently been able to develop power split finger fastballs as they mature.

But just as it has always been, velocity and arm strength get attention as you can't teach arm strength, and Travieso has as much of those qualities as any pitcher in the country.

Perfect Game events attended:

    2009 WWBA 2009 Grads or 18u National Championship
    2009 15U BCS Finals
    2009 16U BCS Finals
    2009 WWBA Florida Qualifier
    2009 WWBA Underclass World Championship
    2010 16U BCS Finals
    2010 WWBA Underclass World Championship
    2010 WWBA World Championship
    2011 WWBA 2012 Grads or 17u National Championship
    2011 17U BCS Finals
    2011 WWBA World Championship

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