29. Travis Taijeron, OF
DOB: 1/20/89 (Age: 24)
Hit: 40/50 Power: 55/60 Arm: 55/55 Field: 50/55 Speed: 50/50
Taijeron continued to produce as he ascends through the minor-league ranks, making it to Double-A Binghamton by years end. Travis began 2013 in the Gulf Coast League playing for St. Lucie and it was pretty apparent he was too advanced for the league. In 55 games for the St. Lucie Mets, he hit .303/.396/.564 with 20 doubles to go along with nine homeruns. He would be promoted to Binghamton in early June and would start off with a bang — homering in his first two games. However, he could struggle a bit against the stiffer competition of the Eastern League, finishing with a .246/.322/.504 slash-line in 65 games. He would continue to show plus power, hitting 14 homers in his time with the B-Mets.
The carrying tool for Travis is always going to be his power. It’s a potential plus tool, but he’s going to have to make some improvements at the plate in order to get to that power. His hit tool is currently below-average and even best case projections have him as a fringe-average hitter at the top level. Most of the problem is his long swing which inhibits his ability to make contact. Taijeron has struck out at least 24% of his at-bats in each stop he’s made in the minors, topping out at a whopping 29.5% in his time in Binghamton in 2013. It’s possible that mechanical adjustments could be made, but you may risk hindering his power. Travis helps offset some of his contact issues with a good batting eye that allows him to draw a solid amount of walks. Defensively, Taijeron profiles as a corner guy, and an average one at that. He possesses solid-average speed for a guy his size.
Outlook: Most people are higher on Taijeron than I am. I see him as a nice fourth outfielder who could provide some pop off the bench. Perhaps most Mets fans won’t be too excited about that, but it’s great value to get a potential MLB contributor in the 18th round of the draft.