Baseball America video of Travieso here.
After rumored interest in a college arm and being primarily linked to a handful of non-Travieso players, the Reds pulled a surprise pick tonight. While he fails the Turtle test, Travieso has a wealth of raw talent. Hopefully, he lives up to his reputation as a moldable arm.
Travieso is out of McCarthy HS in Greater Miami. Despite not being a fulltime starter until his senior year, he's considered the top prep pitcher out of Florida. The limited experience could make Travieso an especially risky bet, but HS pitchers are judged so heavily on raw talent over track record anyway, that it scarcely seems to matter. The positive spin is that he's a quick-study.
His body was compared to Brett Anderson by Turtle. Country strong, shall we say?
Some more "Turtle's Takes":
BA ranked him 40th overall, but he was a late riser. A former position player and relief pitcher who was an arm strength guy, Travieso has hit 99 on the gun. He sits 91 to 95. He throws a hard slider with late bite that hits 86. He's committed to Miami (Fla.)
Travieso is working on a change. The fastball features good movement, which bodes well. So often, guys who throw in the upper 90s fling a flat fastball. He's a project with upside and a really fresh arm. He threw just 18 innings as a junior. He has plus stuff and promising pitchability that led BA to bump him from No. 40 to No. 30.
[He] never threw a breaking ball until last year. His two-seamer has life. One scout called him a "piece of clay." That's better than a piece of something else. His slider has flashed plus.
He'll benefit from pro coaching. He's really not pitched much, so he's going to be a bit of a project, but a talented project. You can't teach 98. The slider is promising. I'd have preferred Giolitio, but this guy isn't as much of a money concern. He has upside that the remaining college pitchers lack. Not a safe pick by any means, but he has potential. The Giants reportedly really liked him and they know something about developing pitchers.
While he lacks the prototypical pitcher's build, his strong lower half helps him generate velocity, taking strain off the arm. He's considered durable. Again, pro coaching will help him develop a consistent arm slot and correct his landing.
One thing to consider is the new spending ceiling for teams' picks in the first 10 round. The Reds have 12 of them and a budget of $6,653,800 - so there may have been sign-ability concerns that played into their bottom-line calculation for the early rounds.
Another wrinkle is that Travieso played on the same team as Latin American Scouting Director Tony Arias' son. That could be interpreted any number of ways: maybe it clouded their judgment or maybe the extra intel helped them make a savvy pick. Time will tell.