The LA Angels selected Texas Christian University pitcher Mitchell Traver in the 20th of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft. With his team facing elimination in the College World Series, Travers performed quite well.
The LA Angels stuck with their pattern of selecting right-handed pitchers this year. The selected seven in the first ten rounds, but Traver has a solid resume himself. While his ceiling is not especially high, he could be in the big leagues relatively quickly.
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He has an MLB-ready body, standing at 6-7 and weighing in at 255, he is physically imposing. In his two seasons at Texas Christian, he has been exceptional. In his first year, he made seven starts and earned a 1-3 record. However, Traver’s record does not reflect his efficiency, as he earned a 3.26 ERA on the year. He threw a total of 30.1 innings and allowed only two long balls. He struck out 28 batters while walking ten.
Traver improved in his next season, despite a higher ERA. He made 11 starts and held a 3.79 ERA on the season. Despite starting four more games, he allowed only three more hits than the year before (6.69 runs per nine innings, down from the 8.01 the year prior). His strikeout-to-walk ratio went down a bit however. That went from 2.80 in his first season to 2.53 this past campaign.
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In what could have been his final college start, Traver made sure that would not happen. He got the nod for the start while #6 Texas Christian faced elimination against the #3 seeded Florida Gators. While he was not invincible, he got off to an amazing start. He struck out five batters in the first three innings, including the side in the second inning. Traver had not allowed a hit until he allowed a solo shot in the bottom of the third inning. He would allow one more run, then get pulled with two outs in the third.
TCU went on to win the game, keeping their championship dreams alive.