Not every 18-year-old kid can throw a 94 mile per hour fastball, but then again, not every kid is Travis Smith. The 6-foot-4 Kentucky Baseball commit has wowed recruiters throughout his impressive high school career and is finishing strong his senior season.
The Walton, Kentucky native began his senior campaign in historic fashion. Smith’s first three games of the season were all no-hitters, tying a state record. Yes, you read that correctly. Three games, 18 innings, 46 strikeouts, and most importantly, zero hits.
Smith committed to Kentucky in 2018 and has been on the baseball program’s radar even longer. The Kentucky-raised kid has been waiting on his collegiate career for quite a while. For goodness sake, check out this tweet from nearly three years ago.
Blessed and excited to announce that I have committed to further my academic and baseball career at the University of Kentucky. I would like to thank my family and people that have supported me throughout the years. #WeAreUK #BBN pic.twitter.com/M863HIqJZb
— Travis Smith (@Traviss1109) June 24, 2018
Although Smith is undoubtedly naturally talented, he didn’t become one of the most highly-touted recruits in the nation by accident. Smith went into detail with KSR about his offseason work and what has been a difference-maker for him.
“This summer, I pitched against a lot of good competition,” Smith told KSR. “That high competition and then going into high school made it easier to attack hitters and dominate.”
Good competition may be a serious understatement. Competing in cutthroat events such as the 2020 WWBA World Championship and the 2020 Perfect Game National Showcase, Smith became comfortable throwing against top talents.
Not only did Smith survive against these fellow high school stars, he thrived. Earning All-Tournament team honors in both events, Smith proved himself to be a serious threat on the mound.
Here’s just a little taste of Smith’s pitching this past summer.
Smith’s offseason work certainly paid off. His team, the Walton-Verona Bearcats, currently sit at 12-1 on the season and are competing in the All-A State Tournament semifinals.
Despite Smith’s highly-touted skills, he still remains humble. The pitcher was upfront about still needing to improve his game. In fact, he discussed using new-age technology to perfect his craft.
“There’s technology that’s coming out that shows different things of how every pitch works and looking at that stuff makes you better every time you go,” Smith said. “It’s easy to look back on videos and look at that data and just learn how to fix that pitch and perfect it to the best of your ability.”
Smith’s desire to to get better is music to any coach’s ears, but his pitches are even sweeter. Smith has displayed a variety of weapons to strike out opponents facing him.
As a coach, maybe the most admired trait Travis possesses…in spite of his immense God-given talent that will allow him to play at the next level, is his humility by which he carries himself. Shows great leadership in that regard!!#WVBatCats
— WV Baseball (@WVBatCats) March 26, 2021
As mentioned previously he has a fastball that easily reaches over 90 miles per hour, but he additionally can throw curveballs, change-ups, and sliders that repeatedly exceed 80 miles per hour.
Smith believes his diverse arsenal will be key to his success at the next level.
“I feel like I have pretty good command with all four of my pitches,” Smith added. “Not a lot of high school players have four pitches, they usually just have a fastball and a curveball. So, I feel like that’ll transfer well with all the command and velocity of my pitches.”
Travis Smith may not be your typical high schooler, but at the end of the day, he’s still a kid. As he heads toward prom, senior festivities, and graduation, he reflects on his time as a student, while looking forward to the future.
“I’m definitely going to miss high school, it’s fun to play with people you see every day,” Smith said. “But, I’m excited to go wherever after high school leads me to. I’m excited for the new opportunities.”