Monday, March 10, 2014
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Travis Shaw makes an underhand toss Thursday during the Sea Dogs’ 2-0 win over Erie.
Derek Davis / Staff Photographer
Travis Shaw: Appreciates dad's help
Travis established himself as a solid player in high school. His dad helped, throwing him batting practice before his high school team's practice.
Travis was drafted by the Red Sox in the 32nd round in 2008. With his father's input, Travis decided he was not ready for pro ball and attended Kent State.
Boston drafted him again in 2011, in the ninth round.
In his first full pro season last year, Shaw batted .305 for advanced Class A Salem and was promoted to Double-A Portland on Aug. 1.
Shaw is known for his mature approach at the plate. He understands the strike zone and rarely swings at bad pitches -- a result of his early tutelage with his father.
Jeff remains involved. He follows Travis' games on the web. Father and son talk after nearly every game.
The spotlight on Travis Shaw brightened Aug. 21 last year when the Red Sox traded first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers. Shaw was considered the best first-base prospect in the Red Sox minor league system.
STAYING UPBEAT IN DOWN YEAR
Could he make it to Boston soon? Perhaps it was that question that has led to Shaw's poor start in 2013. Shaw admits he has pushed himself to improve, perhaps too quickly. It has not worked. He is batting .210 with three home runs.
"It's been rough this year, not what I expected," Shaw said. "You realize your dream (of playing in the majors) is not that far away. I put too much pressure on myself. I tried to hit more home runs, swinging at pitches out of the zone. I can't think like that. I'm not that type of hitter.
"I had a couple days off at the end of May, giving me a chance to hit the reset button. June's been a little better. I'm making consistent, hard contact again. I feel a lot more confident at the plate. I think soon it's all going to turn and work itself out by the end of the year."
Through it all, there have been conversations with dad.
"He's keeping me as positive as I can be," Travis said. "He had rough years in the minor leagues. He said it will all work itself out."
Travis has other support. He was married this past offseason, to Lindy, whom he has known since high school.
Travis will not be with his dad on Father's Day. While Travis is playing a 1 p.m. game at Hadlock Field, his parents, sister Molli and brother Griffin are enjoying a vacation in Hawaii. But Jeff Shaw can start his day with a treat. He will power up the computer at 7 a.m. Hawaii time, click on the Sea Dogs website and follow the game to see how his boy is doing.
After the game, the phone will ring. Father and son will connect, again.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:
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Jeff Shaw: Put his family first