Travis Duke is a 6’3″, 200 pound southpaw that recently graduated from Dawson High School in Pearland, Texas. While with the Eagles, Duke posted a career ERA of 1.45 with 329 strikeouts and only 51 walks, while spending all four years of high school on the varsity team. After his freshman season, he was named District 24-4A All District Pitcher, 2nd Team. His sophomore season saw an even lower ERA, frequent double-digit strikeouts, a .305 batting average on offense, and Duke being named 1st Team All Houston 4-A Pitcher for 2010. As a junior, Duke posted a .95 ERA over 73 innings, and was named 1st Team All Greater Houston Pitcher by Houston 5ab.com. It was during his junior season that Duke committed to the Longhorns, but he remained focused on improving as a pitcher during his senior season as well. In 2012, Duke finished with a 6-1 record, hurling 4 complete games, including 3 shutouts, and allowing a single earned run in district play. Over 45 innings, he struck out 71 and walked only 11.
In an article by Ted Dunham for The Friendswood Journal, Duke said, “The draft is a huge deal, and I’m not looking past it. At the same time, my main goal is to keep working hard and to be the best pitcher I can be before I get to the University of Texas.” Luckily for the Longhorns, Duke has arrived on the 40 acres, and he brought a nasty curveball with him. In the same Ted Dunham article, Duke mentioned working with Texas’ own Skip Johnson, saying, “I’ve developed a cutter this year that my pitching coach (Skip Johnson) at Texas helped me with. He showed me a new grip and how to modify it, and it’s coming around pretty nicely.” Considering that Duke is already reaching the low-90′s with a fastball in addition to a variety of off-speed pitches, we believe he could play an important role in the relief picture as Texas starts the season.
Photo: Kirk Sides