Tournaments : : Story
Friday, September 30, 2011

Travelin' Man

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game

Travis Maezes had a busy summer playing for the aptly-named Ann Arbor Travelers. Serving as the team's three-hole hitter, he propelled his team to a 50-15 finish this summer, winning numerous regional tournament events on their way to participating in the Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, New Mexico in August.

And before he did any of that, Maezes participated at the 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase in mid-June in Fort Myers, Florida.

At the National, Maezes was able to show off his intriguing and versatile tool-set, running the 60-yard dash in 6.79 second, throwing 84 mph across the infield and registering a 1.84 POP time from behind the plate.

Maezes' overall athleticism may be his most interesting attribute, as he currently plays shortstop, has played some in the outfield, and yet many observers think he may be best suited behind the plate.

I've just started to experience catching this year and plan to do so to into the fall,” Maezes said prior to taking the field at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I'm just looking for something else to do.”

Maezes is far from bored playing shortstop, as he recognizes the importance of doing whatever he can to improve his value as an amateur baseball player, especially with the attention he's receiving from scouts. With a compact and strong 6-foot, 190-pound build, Maezes has all of the pieces to excel as a catcher.

Currently ranked the 229
th player in the high school class of 2012, the left-handed hitter has a similar strong yet compact swing at the plate, making consistent hard contact to all fields with very good bat speed and exciting power potential.

Born and bred in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it's no surprise that Maezes has committed to play for the University of Michigan. And as appropriate as his the team he plays for is named, his last name may make him a perfect fit for the Wolverines.

It would be absolutely great to be able to wear the maize and blue,” Maezes said of his commitment. “I've grown up a fan my whole life. It would be an unbelievable honor playing less than a mile from my house.”

The Ann Arbor Travelers are one of 30 teams that made the trek to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to take part of the 2011 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship, with the winner receiving a paid invitation to the WWBA World Championship October 20-24 in Jupiter, Florida.

Head coach Jordon Banfield recognizes the importance of the Kernels Foundation Championship as he prepares his club for that tournament.

We don't have our full complement of guys here, but all of our big arms are here so we should be fine on the mound,” Banfield said. “We definitely have the experience, but we have a lot of new faces here. Our younger guys don't know what we do as well, but we're working them in. It will be an interesting experience.”

We got to the quarterfinals last year with all 16-year olds,” Banfield continued of his team's tournament experience. “We're hoping to improve on that. We had a big summer this year, we made the Connie Mack World Series. We got to that, and I think Jupiter would cap it off. We expect to win (the Kernels Foundation Championship). There wouldn't be any reason to come here if we didn't expect to win.”

Maezes reinforced his coach's desire to win.

We came here to win, anything less I don't think would be considered a success. The goal is to get to Jupiter. That's the one common goal.”

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