Sports

Hanson gets a chance to make his baseball dreams come true

Golf is a popular sport to play for potential pro sports draftees.

Travis Hanson, a 1999 South Kitsap High School graduate, was shooting a paltry 6-over par through the first three holes.

But then the St. Louis Cardinals called the University of Portland junior and told him they drafted him in the ninth round.

Hanson went on to shoot a 1-under the final six holes.

“I had things on my mind (before the call),” Hanson said. “I guess something clicked after that.”

For Hanson it was a dream come true.

He wasn’t surprised the Cardinals picked him.

“I had a feeling they’d draft me,” Hanson said. “They called me a lot.”

Some websites had Hanson being picked anywhere between rounds 2-5.

Hanson said it didn’t matter.

“I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” he said. “I’m happy with how it worked out.”

Hanson has another year of eligibility at Portland, but he said he’ll report to class A ball in New Jersey next week.

Hanson had quality seasons during is first two years at Portland, but he enjoyed a breakout season this year.

He batted .315 with eight home runs and 46 RBI.

More noticeable was his .546 slugging percentage.

“I give a lot of credit to my strength and conditioning coach (Brian Graham),” Hanson said. “He got us on a program where we were working with a medicine ball and doing agility drills.”

Hanson said he put on about 15 pounds of muscle entering his junior campaign.

It wasn’t until this year Hanson thought he’d be playing professionally.

“Out of high school I was two inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter,” he said. “I just wanted to play college ball at a school where I could play every day.”

Now he’s been given an opportunity to live out his dream.

After playing his first two years at Portland as a third baseman, he was moved to shortstop—a position he played at SK.

Hanson said the Cardinals drafted him as a shortstop but may move him back to third base as he progresses.

For now, Hanson said he’s going to concentrate on class A ball and work on getting better.

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