A future major-league career may or may not be in the offing, but at least for one day some southwest suburban players drew the attention of pro baseball teams.
Major League Baseball’s annual amateur draft took place last week and counted among the first 67 picks was Orland Park native Sam Travis. A Providence Catholic alumnus and junior at Indiana University, Travis was chosen by Boston in the second round.
He was at his house watching the draft on the MLB Network with a few family members when he received a phone call from an area scout notifying him of the Red Sox’s intention to select him.
“It’s a dream come true [and] I’m very excited,” Travis said. “It’s going to be very exciting to hopefully someday play in one of the most historic ballparks at Fenway.”
Travis said he’ll forgo his senior season at IU and join the Red Sox organization. In 2011, Travis was drafted out of high school by Cincinnati in the 40th round after helping Providence place second in Class 4A, but he felt more comfortable enrolling at IU instead of turning professional.
“At the time, I thought I needed to mature as a person and mature as a player and work on getting a good education,” Travis said. “Looking back now I don’t regret that decision.”
The 6-foot, 210-pound first baseman was a unanimous choice as Big Ten Player of the Year this spring after batting .347 with 12 homers, 58 RBI, 55 runs and eight stolen bases in 13 attempts. Travis fielded his position at a .997 clip.