Home > Uncategorized > Neftali Feliz Demands Your Attention

Neftali Feliz Demands Your Attention

“Wow.”

That’s all I could say about Texas Rangers relief pitcher Neftali Feliz today. I had heard a lot about him, but today’s performance against the Indians was the first time that I got to see him pitch live. If you didn’t see it, you need to watch this.

Maybe you should watch it again, just to take it all in.

Feliz was part of that really nice package of prospects that came to the Rangers from the Braves in the Mark Teixeira trade back in 2007, which the Braves have to be regretting now.

I bring up Feliz because the stuff he offers — a 100 MPH fastball, an 80+ MPH curve and a 90+ MPH changeup, which are all on display in that first link — is what makes you stop what you’re doing and watch a player whenever they are on the field.

I haven’t been this mesmerized by a pitcher since the Twins’ Francisco Liriano in 2006. He was on his way to being one of the game’s top starters, but it looks like a 2007 Tommy John surgery has all but eliminated Liriano’s devastating slider and has made him relatively average.

Feliz will be a top-of-the-rotation guy soon enough, but the Rangers are happy to have him acting as a setup man right now. And he’s doing just fine in that role: 6.2 innings pitched, one hit, no walks, 13 strikeouts. Not bad, you know?

Feliz throws a little harder than Liriano used to, but his arm motion is so smooth, he doesn’t look like a major risk for a long-term arm injury. Let’s hope for the best — unless you are the Los Angeles Angels or the Boston Red Sox — because right now, Feliz is a player who you have to watch when he’s on the stage.

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  1. August 22, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Oh.

    My.

    Lord.

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