Devon Travis

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Devon Anthony Travis

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Biographical Information[edit]

Second baseman Devon Travis played in the Detroit Tigers minor league system from 2012 to 2014 after being taken by the club in the 13th round of the 2012 amateur draft, then reached the major leagues after being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.

With the Connecticut Defenders in 2012, he hit .280/.352/.441 with 26 hits in 25 games. He followed that with a .351/.418/.518 line with 16 home runs, 76 RBI, 22 stolen bases and 28 doubles between the West Michigan Whitecaps and Lakeland Flying Tigers in 2013. That year, he was named a Midwest League Mid- and Post-Season All-Star, a Organization All-Star and an Arizona Fall League Rising Star. He began 2014 with the Double-A Erie SeaWolves after entering the year ranked the 84th-best prospect by Baseball America. He played 100 games, hitting .298/.358/.460, with 20 doubles, 10 triples and 7 homers, scoring 68 runs and driving in 52.

On November 12, 2014, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in return for OF Anthony Gose. He not only made the team out of spring training but was the Opening Day second baseman against the New York Yankees on April 6, 2015. He had an excellent debut, collecting a hit and 2 walks in four plate appearances, the hit being a home run off Chasen Shreve in the 7th inning of a 6-1 win. He continued to hit very well after that, finishing April at .325 with 6 doubles, 6 homers, 17 runs scored and 19 RBIs. Not surprisingly, he was named the American League Rookie of the Month for April. In mid-May, he sat out five straight games with a shoulder inflammation before being placed on the disabled list on May 21st. The injury dated back to April 30th, when he had been struck on the collarbone by a ground ball that had taken a bad hop. He returned to action with the Jays on June 26th and he had another solid month in July, when he hit .368 in 21 games. However, he returned to the DL on July 31st with a shoulder strain and the Blue Jays acquired veteran IF Cliff Pennington to share second base duties with Ryan Goins during his absence, a sign that they were pessimistic about a quick return. Indeed, he did not return to action and had surgery performed on his shoulder on September 23rd, officially ending any hopes of a return before the following spring. He ended his rookie season with a .304 batting average in 62 games, 38 runs scored, 8 homers and 35 RBIs. He underwent a second surgery on his shoulder on November 17th.

Travis made his return to the major leagues on May 25, 2016, when Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the disabled list. He had played 9 games on a rehabilitation assignment in the minors, with two different teams, before making his way back to Toronto. He started off slowly, as after 15 games, on June 11th, his batting average was only .145 with 1 homer and 5 RBIs. He then hit safely in 17 of the next 18 games, however, to move up his average to .273. He hit 5 homers in June and scored 13 runs in July, slowly claiming back his place as one of the dangerous if neglected hitters in the Jays' line-up. On August 8th, he had the first four-hit game of his career, including the go-ahead single in the 7th, as the Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-5. He ended up playing 101 games, hitting an even .300 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs. He went 1 for 5 with a run as the Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card Game, but a hamstring injury limited him to a single game against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS, during which he went 0 for 5. He tried to come back in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians but was removed from the game after going 0 for 2 and showing a complete lack of mobility. He did not play again in the series as the Blue Jays bowed out in five games.

He started the 2017 season stone cold after missing a good chunk of spring training, hitting .130 with 1 homer and 4 RBIs in April. He was not the only Jays hitter to struggle badly that month, as the team had an awful first month. May was a different story, however, as he found his hitting stroke with a vengeance. During the month, he batted .364 with 16 doubles and 4 homers, scoring 17 runs and driving in 19, to contribute to a remarkable turn-around that saw Toronto move to within one game of .500 on May 31st. That day, he capped the month with a game-winning two-run homer in the 7th inning against the Cincinnati Reds. However, after playing three games in June, he sat down for a few games with what was originally described as a bone bruise in his right knee. It turned out to be damaged cartilage, however, and he underwent an operation on June 12th, putting him out for the rest of the season.

Travis played a final season in 2018 but could not regain his earlier productivity. Injuries not only affected his performance, but they prematurely forced him from the game. After his playing career ended, Travis returned to Florida State to complete his undergraduate career in business and marketing.

Travis became a coach with the Mississippi Braves in 2021 and Gwinnett Stripers in 2022.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gregor Chisholm: "Travis progressing, focused on helping team: 2nd baseman happy with Blue Jays' added depth",, January 22, 2018. [1]
  • Melissa Couto: "Blue Jays' Travis stays mentally strong after injury-plagued year", The Canadian Press, February 29, 2016. [2]

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