Astros Top Prospects (Part 4): The Top Five
By Eric Huysman
Astros Fifth Ranked Prospect
Feb 26, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcherMichael Feliz
poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
#5 Michael Feliz RHP – (Stock increased, #6 in 2014)
When I started blogging for CTH, one of my first post was how the Astros didn’t protect Michael Feliz by placing him on the 40-man roster. The news broke at 2pm that day, and Twitter was a buzz on what a colossal mistake that was for the Astros. Talking heads and Twitter experts raved about Feliz’s stuff, saying that he would be the number one Rule V pick for sure. Rumors later broke that the Astros were in talks to trade for Evan Gattis and that Feliz was involved. Around the 11pm deadline, Jeff Luhnow came out and said that Feliz had been added to the 40-man roster.
Feliz is a big hard-throwing pitcher who is in his fifth year in the Astros organization. He signed young out of the Dominican Republic in 2010 and is currently in High-A Lancaster in the Astros organization. He pitches in the mid 90’s and tops off at about 98 miles per hour. His next best pitch is a nasty slider followed by his changeup, but he does have episodes of wildness. Feliz tries to pitch around the edge of the strike zone; so many of his pitches tend to become balls.
The reason he is still in Class-A is a testament to how he needs to develop a little more before promotion to AA-Corpus. He is off to a slow start at Lancaster with a 1-1/ 5.23 ERA/ with 16 strikeouts in 10.1 innings. Let that sink in for a second, 16 strikeouts in 10.1 innings, that’s 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, which is a lot. He has given up ten hits and five walks in his starts.
Some people, including Jose de Jesus Ortiz believe that Michael Feliz is the future closer for the Astros. The Astros will continue to develop him, which I believe means that they see him in the rotation some day. If they wanted him in the bullpen, he could rely more on his power pitches.
I compared Feliz to Josh Hader here.
2014 Stats: 8-6/ 4.03 ERA/ 111 strikeouts in 102.2 innings
Affiliate Starting in 2015: High-A Lancaster in the rotation.
MLB Pipeline ETA: 2017
Top 100: #98 according to MLB Pipeline
Ceiling: Pedro Martinez
Floor: Edison Volquez
Position blocker: Collin McHugh
Next: Astros Fourth Ranked Prospect