A surprisingly productive start to the season earned Devon Travis American League Rookie of the Month honours for April.
The 24-year-old had never appeared above double-A before this year, but he homered on opening day and never slowed down on his way to becoming one of the leading offensive contributors in Toronto’s MLB-best lineup. Travis went on to hit six home runs in April while collecting 26 hits on his way to a .325/.393/.625 batting line.
The power has surprised Travis as much as anyone.
“I’ve never in my life really been any type of a home run hitter,” he said. “I just go up there trying to get good pitches to hit and thankfully the ball has been leaving the yard a little bit. I’ll never consider myself a home run hitter, but it’s been definitely a lot of fun.”
The Blue Jays acquired Travis for centre-fielder Anthony Gose in an off-season trade with the Detroit Tigers. He arrived in spring training with the chance to compete for Toronto’s second base job, and made the team after Maicer Izturis had to start the year on the disabled list.
Though Travis opened the season batting at the bottom of Toronto’s order, he has been bumped up to the leadoff spot while shortstop Jose Reyes recovers from a rib injury.
Now he’s a key contributor, but it wasn’t long ago that he didn’t dare hope for this kind of production.
“Obviously if you would have told me that this would have been coming out of the first month, I would have said ‘you’re wrong,'” Travis said. “It’s just been incredible. What a ride — a ton of fun.”
The Blue Jays are hoping the fun continues for Travis all season long.