Travis Demeritte's game is all about extremes, and in 2016 he was treated to some extreme park factors to complicate his profile. The Rangers traded him to the Braves for pitching help in late July, moving Demeritte from High Desert, one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the minors, to Carolina, a pitchers' paradise compared to any Cal League park. While his numbers predictably dipped after the trade, the fact that he managed to post a 138 wRC+ and .860 OPS in the Carolina League should stabilize his dynasty league value, as he proved that High Desert was not playing kingmaker. He has plus power, specifically to the pull side, and enough speed to steal double-digit bases annually. Unfortunately, major contact issues that typify his below-average hit tool have been apparent ever since he got into pro ball. Demeritte is a worthwhile lottery ticket in deeper dynasty leagues, but nobody should be surprised if he flames out in the upper levels.
Demeritte was sent to Double-A Mississippi on Thursday. An excellent defender at second base with plus raw power, Demeritte is certainly intriguing, but he struggles so much to make consistent contact, that he may never be able to make it as a big league regular. He could be a defensive wizard who hits 25-plus homers while being a batting average drain if he can max out.
Demeritte was traded to the Braves on Wednesday in exchange for Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez, MLB.com's TR Sullivan reports. The 30th overall pick in 2013, Demeritte is heading home, as he was a prep product out of Winder, GA when the Rangers drafted him. He is a classic boom or bust power bat, although he is unique in the sense that he plays second base, which makes him awfully intriguing for dynasty league purposes. Demeritte's .272/.352/.583 slash line along with 25 homers and 13 steals in 331 at-bats this year needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as he was playing half his games at High Desert -- one of the most notoriously hitter-friendly parks in the minors in the already hitter-friendly California League. He is extremely risky, as he has carried a K-rate north of 30 percent at each stop since rookie ball. If Demeritte can find a way to hit even .245 in the big leagues, he could offer Brian Dozier-level production in the counting categories.
Demeritte has hit four home runs in his first two games for High-A High Desert. He's 6-for-9 and also has a double. Demeritte hit two home runs in each of his first two games of the season. After an 80-game suspension for using a banned substance last season, a fast start to the season will help turn the page.
Rangers prospect Travis Demeritte was suspended 80 games Thursday for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Demeritte was a first-round pick in 2013 (30th overall). The 20-year-old infielder has a career .233/.339/.440/.779 slash line in 205 minor-league games. He hit 25 home runs at Class A in 2014.
Shortstop Travis Demeritte , the 30th overall pick by the Rangers in the recent draft, hit a home run in his first professional at-bat Thursday, for the Rookie League Rangers.