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My Name is Travis Harrison

My name is Travis Harrison, former first-round supplemental pick for the Minnesota Twins. I was contacted to see if I was interested in telling my story and answer questions that Twins fans might have. To be honest, this usually is not my thing, so excuse the sub-par writing skills. I do love the game of baseball and have come to love the Minnesota sports fans. So, lets give it a shot. What could go wrong?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
A quick intro/update on my life. I am married to my wife Jessica, who is way better looking than myself. We had a beautiful girl 10 months ago named Jamie. She sleeps from 7 pm to 7 am every night so, go me! I have stopped playing baseball officially and am currently working for the #1 Real Estate team is Southwest Florida, Domain Realty. Also, I am taking full advantage of the Twins College Scholarship Plan that was offered to me coming out of high school.

Enough with the boring stuff and onto my first Minnesota Twins story. On June 6, 2011, I was attending my regular high school classes while knowing my life would change forever that evening.

I was receiving calls every 20 minutes or so, and the only thing I can remember is my agent texting me, “if the Twins contact you, say you are not interested”.

I didn’t think much about it until the draft had started and I got a call. It was my local Twins scout (who was the best in the area and an amazing person). He said "If you are still there and Levi Michael is off the board, we are picking you at 30."

I replied with “Sounds good”.

This is back when “slot money” meant less than the close door button on an elevator. People were signing for half of slot or double slot. It was just a big chess game.

Anyway, pick #30 comes and goes and Levi was still there.

I remember seeing my father over in the corner of the house talking on the phone with someone and wondering who it was. Turns out, he was negotiating my first professional baseball contract for me.

Pick #50 comes up and Rod Carew announces my name on TV in front of all my family and friends.

The time I spent with the Twins was an absolute blast. It didn’t matter if I was hitting home runs in big league spring training or striking out in AA. The lessons I learned from playing professional baseball will stick with me forever. Even though I had three concussions that really held me back, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything in the world.



I have a ton of stories to tell and I would love to answer questions about ANYTHING you might want to know.

--------------------------------------------------

Related Articles:--------------------------------------------------

EDITOR'S NOTE: We are hoping that Travis will write an article every week or two about various topics related to his baseball career, time in the Twins organizations, tips, tricks, and more. He certainly welcomes your questions and ideas for topics, so fill the comments with those. - Seth

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50 Comments

Hey Travis, great hearing from you.

 

Curious what University you are attending, how far you have gotten, your major, etc?Are your long term plans to stick with real estate or eventually go into your area of study? 

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stringer bell
Oct 29 2019 06:00 AM

IIRC, Travis played on the Cedar Rapids team with Buxton and Polanco. Best wishes to him in his life outside of baseball. 

    • Mike Frasier Law likes this

Cool!

 

Back in Spring 2015, I did a fairly thorough scan through the previous season's stats, and then dug further back to look at prior seasons for the better performers. That summary is here, 30 Twins Prospects I'll Be Watching In 2015.

 

For humorous effect, I left out Buxton and Sano from the list of hitters, since their 2014 seasons had been curtailed for various injuries. (I added them back to the top, in my last paragraph.)

 

Anyway, I ranked the hitters this way: Polanco, Kepler, Harrison. Then some other players.

 

I'm just a guy on the Internet. But maybe you'll be entertained, or whatever. Pleasedtameetcha.

    • Mike Frasier Law and Oldgoat_MN like this

Hi Travis! I played college baseball, but never made it any farther. I would have loved the chance to play even the low levels on minor league baseball, except I couldn't hit the slider. What would you say is the biggest adjustment going from high school/college to the pro game?

Travis maybe I am being mean for asking this but I am curious so here goes.Toward the end of your minor league career did you see the writing on the wall that you might not achieve your dream of playing MLB and how did you feel once the Twins let you go?Maybe I am a creep for asking that but I am curious about your mindset during that process.If you don't want to answer this one that is fine.

 

FYI I followed you (i.e. your stats) throughout your minor league career.Kept hoping you would take off and there were times when it looked like you might.Anyway I wish you well and am glad that you appear to be in a good place in your life right now.Thanks for giving this a shot.

    • brvama and nclahammer like this

Hi Travis, 

 

Per your intro, do you know why you were supposed to tell the Twins you were not interested? 

    • brvama, goulik and nclahammer like this
Were you aware in 2011 just how special your draft class could be?
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:15 AM

 

Hey Travis, great hearing from you.

 

Curious what University you are attending, how far you have gotten, your major, etc?Are your long term plans to stick with real estate or eventually go into your area of study? 

I am about a year into school now. Most of it online with an occasional class. My major is finance. Im not sure of what the future holds. Hopefully real estate continues to go well and I will have different options.Thank you for the comment

    • gunnarthor, brvama and Sconnie like this
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:16 AM

Thank you! Buc and Jorge are both amazing guys!

IIRC, Travis played on the Cedar Rapids team with Buxton and Polanco. Best wishes to him in his life outside of baseball. 

 

    • gunnarthor likes this
Photo
Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:19 AM

cool list! I love the passion everyone has about the Twins. I am now just a guy on the internet as well :)))

Cool!

 

Back in Spring 2015, I did a fairly thorough scan through the previous season's stats, and then dug further back to look at prior seasons for the better performers. That summary is here, 30 Twins Prospects I'll Be Watching In 2015.

 

For humorous effect, I left out Buxton and Sano from the list of hitters, since their 2014 seasons had been curtailed for various injuries. (I added them back to the top, in my last paragraph.)

 

Anyway, I ranked the hitters this way: Polanco, Kepler, Harrison. Then some other players.

 

I'm just a guy on the Internet. But maybe you'll be entertained, or whatever. Pleasedtameetcha.

 

    • ashbury, Seth Stohs, Blake and 3 others like this
Photo
Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:23 AM

Hey Doug, thats a good question. There is obviously a lot of differences but a big one is doing it everyday and staying consistant for 8 months in a row. But good hitting is about hitting the pitchers mistakes. the less mistakes they throw, the harder it is to hit. 

Hi Travis! I played college baseball, but never made it any farther. I would have loved the chance to play even the low levels on minor league baseball, except I couldn't hit the slider. What would you say is the biggest adjustment going from high school/college to the pro game?

 

    • goulik, Sconnie and MN_ExPat like this
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:30 AM

Thats not mean at all. you wouldnt believe some of the stuff I hear.

I always knew I could play in the big leagues. I always got on base a lot if i was hitting well or not at the time. After my 3rd concussion, i knew it would be tough because my eyes started to get worse. The twins gave me the option to stay on the DL until the next year or try to get picked up by someone else. I took the option(but it came through as a "release". I didnt get picked up so i went a got lasik surgery and slashed 302/412 in indy ball the next year. I wish I wouldve got that surgery a year ealier. Thank you for your support!!

Travis maybe I am being mean for asking this but I am curious so here goes.Toward the end of your minor league career did you see the writing on the wall that you might not achieve your dream of playing MLB and how did you feel once the Twins let you go?Maybe I am a creep for asking that but I am curious about your mindset during that process.If you don't want to answer this one that is fine.

 

FYI I followed you (i.e. your stats) throughout your minor league career.Kept hoping you would take off and there were times when it looked like you might.Anyway I wish you well and am glad that you appear to be in a good place in your life right now.Thanks for giving this a shot.

 

    • Blake, gunnarthor, brvama and 2 others like this
Photo
Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:31 AM

The Twins were known at the time to not pay over slot money and to move players through the system slowly. (both turned out to be wrong)

Hi Travis, 

 

Per your intro, do you know why you were supposed to tell the Twins you were not interested? 

 

    • Seth Stohs, brvama, Dman and 2 others like this
Photo
Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:33 AM

I was not. Just tried to work as hard as I could and see where the chips fall

Were you aware in 2011 just how special your draft class could be?

 

    • Seth Stohs and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Oct 29 2019 09:37 AM

I was always curious how the scholarship works for HS players. Do you get to pick the university of your choice or is it set at a certain dollar figure? Do they let you go to day school like you would have had you went to college?

 

Congrats on having a kid that does 7 to 7... you're lucky... all I got to say. 

 

Side question, now that you've had lasik, have you considered another try at the minors?

    • brvama, nclahammer and MN_ExPat like this

To be honest, this usually is not my thing, so excuse the sub-par writing skills. ...

...

This is back when “slot money” meant less than the close door button on an elevator.

 

Good one! Don't let anyone tell you your writing is sub-par. :)

    • brvama, 70charger, Sconnie and 2 others like this

Remember you well Travis.

 

One thing I always thought, for you to corroborate or debunk: former professional baseball player looks good on a resume outside of baseball world. True or false?

 

 

    • 70charger likes this
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 09:56 AM

the scholarship is based on the school you were going to attend and what scholarship you had. Thats where you get the dollar amount. Then when you want to start using the scholarship, you can attend any school you can get into. You have 2 years after you are done playing in affiliated baseball to use it or its gone. I had a full ride to USC so you can see why I did not want to waste that.

 

I did go play independant ball and played really well. A lot of teams were interested in picking me up until they saw the medical history.

Great Question!

I was always curious how the scholarship works for HS players. Do you get to pick the university of your choice or is it set at a certain dollar figure? Do they let you go to day school like you would have had you went to college?

 

Congrats on having a kid that does 7 to 7... you're lucky... all I got to say. 

 

Side question, now that you've had lasik, have you considered another try at the minors?

 

    • diehardtwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 10:48 AM

Very True. Most view as having good work ethic and knowing how to work with or lead a team.

Remember you well Travis.

 

One thing I always thought, for you to corroborate or debunk: former professional baseball player looks good on a resume outside of baseball world. True or false?

 

    • Monkeypaws, bighat and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 10:49 AM

Thank you! That button is truly useless

Good one! Don't let anyone tell you your writing is sub-par. :)

 

    • ashbury, bighat and MN_ExPat like this
Travis, Thanks so much for taking the time to write about baseball and your experiences with it. We loved watching you guys play whenever you came to Jacksonville, and I think you even signed a couple of baseballs for my son as well (as a Twins fan in South Georgia you don’t get to interact much with Twins players ).


My son is a Sophomore pitcher and outfielder in HS right now and I’ve thoroughly corrupted him and turned him into a huge Twins fan. As with all the players who take a minute for fans, just wanted to say TY for taking a moment to make his day back then.

So best of luck to you In your future and God Bless. SKOL!!!
    • Seth Stohs and goulik like this
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 01:33 PM

Thank you for the kind words. Sorry you had to see me in Jacksonville, I never played great at that stadium! Please tell your son I said good luck and to enjoy his time playing. 

Travis, Thanks so much for taking the time to write about baseball and your experiences with it. We loved watching you guys play whenever you came to Jacksonville, and I think you even signed a couple of baseballs for my son as well (as a Twins fan in South Georgia you don’t get to interact much with Twins players ).


My son is a Sophomore pitcher and outfielder in HS right now and I’ve thoroughly corrupted him and turned him into a huge Twins fan. As with all the players who take a minute for fans, just wanted to say TY for taking a moment to make his day back then.

So best of luck to you In your future and God Bless. SKOL!!!

 

    • MN_ExPat likes this

Travis, Thank you so much for taking the time to interact with us on TD, this is the best thread since the end of the season!

 

The Twins franchise seems to have had a lot of bad luck with concussions from Mauer, Buxton and Morneau on the MLB team to players like you in the minors where they really cut up promising careers. Hopefully Buxton is able to have a long career but do you have any insight on why the concussions are having such an impact in the last 10-15 years? Is it an awareness thing that has always happened and we just didn't understand it until now or is there something going on with equipment/the way the game is being played? Is there any personal insight into the concussions you would like to share or maybe this is a topic of a future thread?

    • dgwills likes this
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Travis Harrison
Oct 29 2019 04:19 PM

That's a great question. Obviously, they did not have the same science and technology we have now so, most, if not all concussions back in the day were looked over. I also believe a big part of it is the reaction time to pitches. I can say from personal experience, it is much easier to get out of the way of a 90 mph fastball than a 100mph fastball. who doesn't throw 95-100 out of the pen these days??? Throwing that hard was extremely rare back in the day. With non pitch-related concussions, which I had one, I just think players, coaches and execs now know the repercussions of what concussions can have on people later in life. The risk of pushing it just a little too hard could be devastating.

Travis, Thank you so much for taking the time to interact with us on TD, this is the best thread since the end of the season!

 

The Twins franchise seems to have had a lot of bad luck with concussions from Mauer, Buxton and Morneau on the MLB team to players like you in the minors where they really cut up promising careers. Hopefully Buxton is able to have a long career but do you have any insight on why the concussions are having such an impact in the last 10-15 years? Is it an awareness thing that has always happened and we just didn't understand it until now or is there something going on with equipment/the way the game is being played? Is there any personal insight into the concussions you would like to share or maybe this is a topic of a future thread?

 

    • dgwills likes this

That's a great question. Obviously, they did not have the same science and technology we have now so, most, if not all concussions back in the day were looked over. I also believe a big part of it is the reaction time to pitches. I can say from personal experience, it is much easier to get out of the way of a 90 mph fastball than a 100mph fastball. who doesn't throw 95-100 out of the pen these days??? Throwing that hard was extremely rare back in the day. With non pitch-related concussions, which I had one, I just think players, coaches and execs now know the repercussions of what concussions can have on people later in life. The risk of pushing it just a little too hard could be devastating.


Oh wow, I never considered the increased velocity of pitches and it being harder to duck out of the way when considering why there seem to be more concussions!

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