SPORTS

Infield prospect Devon Travis excited about future with Blue Jays

11/13/2014 04:03 EST | Updated 01/13/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Infield prospect Devon Travis thinks he's ready to play at the major-league level.

The Toronto Blue Jays could very well give him that opportunity next season.

Travis, acquired by the Blue Jays on Wednesday in a trade with Detroit, spent last season with the double-A Erie SeaWolves. Baseball America recently ranked him as the top prospect in the Tigers' organization but he has never played at the triple-A level or higher.

Toronto used a variety of players at second base last season including Ryan Goins, Steve Tolleson, Maicer Izturis, and even third baseman Brett Lawrie.

The position appears to be wide open and could go to the player who has the strongest spring.

Speaking Thursday on a conference call, Travis said he spoke with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos after the trade was finalized and was told he'd get a shot to compete for a big-league job.

"He told me that going into spring training, as long as no other big moves were made, that I'm going to have every opportunity and a chance to compete for the job out of camp," Travis said. "So that was pretty exciting to hear."

Travis, selected by Detroit in the 13th round of the 2012 first-year player draft, hit .298 and stole 16 bases in 100 games last season. The 23-year-old native of West Palm Beach, Fla., had 20 doubles, seven triples, 10 home runs, 52 RBIs and a .358 on-base percentage.

"Obviously this year was a big test for me and I felt pretty comfortable," he said.

His season was cut short by a sports hernia and he underwent surgery in September. Travis said the procedure was followed by over a month of rehabilitation and his normal off-season plan remains intact.

"I feel great," he said. "I'm 100 per cent."

Toronto gave up Anthony Gose in the deal with the Tigers. The speedy outfielder was given several chances with the Blue Jays over parts of the last three seasons but was unable to make a consistent impact.

Gose, 24, batted .226 with a .311 on-base percentage in 94 games with the Blue Jays last season. He had two homers, 13 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

Travis, who is five foot nine and 195 pounds, feels he brings a strong work ethic and tenacity to the field.

"I've always been the smallest guy on my team from five years old on up," he said. "I've just been the little guy that's always dirty and diving for no reason, trying to make plays that I know I'm not going to make.

"Just little things like that. Coming to the field and bringing everything I have."

Travis added he's happy to now be on the same side as Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Drew Hutchison, three of the team's rising pitching stars. And while he was surprised to be traded, he's very excited to be joining the Blue Jays.

"It's something that's pretty incredible and I'm definitely looking forward to the opportunity," he said.

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Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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With files from The Associated Press.

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