I was torn on this one. 

Should he even be in the top 25 any longer?

First the positives:

The guy has 295 extra base hits in 2,185 career at bats, an outstanding rate of 1 every 7.4 at bats.  I would consider him the best power hitter in the Mets' minors.

He has 401 career RBIs (which, assuming a 546 at bat season would equal 100 RBIs, which is fine run production).

His career line is .269/.370/.512, which if he could do that in the majors would make him a star.

However, there are real negatives:

He just turned 28 in January, quite old for a minor leaguer.

737 Ks in 645 games has always been a major negative.   166 in 129 AAA games last year - ugh!

And 2016 was a weird season for Travis.

In his career, the righty slugger has tattooed lefties - until 2016, when he oddly only hit .222 against them.

Somehow he managed to hit .294/.387/.535 against righties in 2016 - before 2016, he hit far, far better against lefties. 

But even his righty production in 2016 had a negative - he struck out 123 times in about 380 plate appearances against righties, an awful rate. 

But when he did not strike out, and made contact vs. righties, he was 98 for 210 (.466), with 48 extra base hits! Which tells me he scorches balls.  Career-wise, in fact, he hits .405 when he puts balls in play and doesn't fan.

I was high on him as of July 4 last year, when his AAA #'s were .314/.394/.579...I thought he had broken through big on AAA and might be on his way to being a Chris Davis type in the majors.  But by season's end, he'd regressed to .275/.372/.512, disappointing for him surely.

When he was signed in the 18th round on 2011, his rep was a high power, high strikeout player, and he has lived up to that billing.   But the strikeouts will have to drop drastically for a major league career, and that just has not showed up along the way.

My guess is his only real chance for the majors, given the strikeout rate which would only get worse in the majors, is to crush AAA lefties this year and hope for a call up as a righty bat against lefties. 

But a disturbing comp is another power hitting righty bat, Andrew Brown, the ex-Met: Brown, in 2,616 at bats in the minors, put up similar power #'s and a .286/.370/.521 line.  Brown hit for moderately higher average, and also struck out less (0.92 K's per game, while Travis is at a significantly higher 1.14 per game).  Brown did get up 328 times in the majors, hit just .220 with 101 Ks...so if Travis got called up, would he hit .203 in 328 at bats and fan 125 times?  That won't get it done.  He has to get hit higher and strike out at least 25% less, in my view.

Nonetheless, he has real power, and his career Brown-equaling .370 OB % is very decent (by comparison, TJ Rivera, a career .324 minor league hitter, has a career OB% just .001 higher than Taijeron).

I wish Taijeron well, as I respect his power game and having done as well as he has for an 18th rounder, and hope he can figure out the K flaw before it is too late.


Reese Kaplan said...

It doesn't matter what he did in the minors. Even if he got called up the genius in the dugout wouldn't play him. After one 0-4 game he'd be buried on the bench forever.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

You always have liked Taijeron and I expected to see him on your list.

I respect the fact that he has gotten as far as the AAA level and he is still hitting a bunch of homers, though doing that in the PCL is a lot easier than doing it in other AAA leagues.

The bottom line for me is this guy falls into the "30 clubs and 5 outfielders each" category.

As long as the Mets have Cespedes, Bruce, Conforto, Granderson, Lagares, and Nimmo, he has no chance of getting to Queens.

Thomas Brennan said...

My thought is maybe a 40 man call up in Sept for a righty bat. He has to reduce the Ks by a third this year, or the ship will sail. (he is more of a doubles that Homers guy - a double every 3 games last year.

Mack Ade said...

he reminds me of that guy that the Mets had in AAA a few years ago and hit, like, 1000 homers in the minors.

What was his name?

Thomas Brennan said...

How soon we forget! I remember him, very similar player to Travis.

Reese Kaplan said...

Andrew Brown? Val Pascuci?

Hobie said...

Valentine Pascucci!

(St. Lucie batting coach, BTW)

eraff said...

Sadly, Travis is not a prospect

Thomas Brennan said...

There was a German guy who had a ton of Homers and briefly had a cup of coffee with Mets several years ago with a ton on minors homers...Goessman?

Thomas Brennan said...

Mike Hessman. 433 minor league homers

Thomas Brennan said...

Mike Hessman. 433 minor league homers

Mack Ade said...


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