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Remember Sam Travis? One-time prospect continues opening eyes with spring power surge

John Tomase
March 17, 2018 - 5:19 pm

Sam Travis struggled to hit for anything resembling power last year. On Saturday, he continued making tremendous strides in that regard.

Travis blasted a three-run homer over the 44-foot Green Monster in JetBlue Park, leading the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Rays.

A year after hitting only six home runs at Triple-A Pawtucket, Travis is making a bid to move himself atop the list of right-handed options should a need arise in Boston this season. He's hitting .267 with a team-leading four home runs and 13 RBIs. He's slugging .622.

"He can hit," said manager Alex Cora. "He's a good hitter. He has a great attitude. There's a lot of energy in him and he's willing to learn, which is more important. He's a good defender at first base, too. We can push him out of the bag, push him in that hole and he's quick enough that he can get back to the bag and he's never satisfied.

"He hit that homer, but he's probably thinking about that changeup against that lefty, the last one, he was out in front. So I like his attitude, I like his work ethic. His bat is what everybody thought it would be. Hitting the ball in the air, hitting it for power is a good sign for him."

While Travis is currently the victim of a numbers game, with Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, and J.D. Martinez locked into first base and designated hitter, one injury could create an opportunity. In an effort to expand his versatility, Travis will continue earning reps in left field.

"Keep playing hard, keep working," Cora said. "There's always other stuff he can do to get better. Versatility is one of them . . . Make him as versatile as possible."



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