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Big League Dreams: Travis Hissong

A Look at Chinooks in the Minor Leagues

Travis Hissong  –  New York Yankees  –  Tampa Yankees (Rookie)

Lakeshore Chinook fans barely had a chance to get to know right-handed pitcher Travis Hissong last summer before he signed a free agent deal with the New York Yankees. With two early performances in which he struck out 16 batters in eleven innings of work and was named the Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night in the team’s 2-1 win over Wisconsin Rapids, Travis had the makings of a league all-star. Though only with the team for a short ten days, Hissong’s performance was reflective of the prime factor in the Chinooks’ run to the 2014 League Championship – solid pitching.

Hissong_Yanks

Hissong in those famous Yankees pinstripes

Life became a whirlwind for Hissong immediately after the completion of the 2014 MLB Draft. Though not selected, Hissong’s phone buzzed immediately with strong interest from the Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. His short run with the Chinooks confirmed what the scouts had seen in the Belleville, OH native in his junior season pitching for Wright State. Travis is a polished pitcher with a variety of pitches as indicated by Chinook Head Coach Eddy Morgan who remarked, “Hissong has a bright future. He has two pitches other than that fastball that he can throw at any count.” With a BA from Wright State already under his belt, the decision to sign with one of his favorite teams as a youngster was an easy one and on Wednesday, June 11 at 7 a.m., Hissong boarded a flight from Knoxville, TN to Staten Island, NY.

Hissong quickly progressed through the Yankees system with brief appearances with New York’s Class A teams in Tampa and Staten Island, and then back to Tampa to play for the Yankees' Gulf Coast League Rookie team. Between the three teams, Travis posted a 2.53 ERA in 21.1 innings of work with 24 strikeouts. With that strong showing, Hissong remains optimistic about the coming season where he hopes to progress to High A ball in Tampa or Charleston. “Right now I'm working hard in the off season both in the weight room and throwing and continuously being a student of the game. I have very high expectations for myself and am very excited to head down to Florida for spring training,” said Hissong.

As Hissong pursues his dream, he’s thankful for his brief time at Lakeshore as he reflected, “It sure means a lot to me to have the support of the Chinooks’ community and it certainly reflects how great the organization is from top to bottom. My favorite memory was my first start at home in front of an awesome crowd and eventually being crowned pitcher of the night by the NWL. I’m thankful for all of it!”