In our ongoing 2010 fantasy baseball rookie look, we bring you a name I went over as recently as August in a Neftali Feliz keeper post. Thank you for reading from The Department of Redundancy Department! Because he still falls in the rookie category (under 50 innings pitched), I must, I must increase my Neftali Feliz fuss. Feliz went to the Rangers from the Braves in the trade of Teixeira. (Also included in that trade was Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltymochachino. This was the last major move by Schuerholz. It’s like when your boss at El Pollo Loco tells you in the morning that today is your last day, then you replace the shredded cheese with your pubic hair and rob the cash register, leaving a note that says, “It was the new guy.” Schuerholz left that note for Frank Wren.) Feliz proceeded to cruise through the minors — in 276 innings, he had 325 Ks and a 3.03 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Then he dominated in the majors — in 31 innings, 39 Ks, 1.74 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP. What’s next? The moon! Gravity’s for junk ball throwers! But, first, let’s look at what we can expect from Neftali Feliz in 2010 fantasy baseball.
10-7/4.42/1.35/102 in 128 and a 1/3 innings. Wow, pretty specific on the predictions, huh? Actually, those are David Price’s numbers in 2009. I tell you that line so you keep expectations in check. Neftali Feliz is going to be a great one. I think there’s a good chance that he can throw 130 innings in 2010 (whether the Rangers start him in the rotation or bullpen or bring him up in June is still unknown). He’s capable of a terrific 130 innings. There’s a chance, at least. Chance being the key word. Rookie pitchers, even ones that have nasty stuff, are a risk. Don’t expect a sub-2 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP over the course of the season. The nice thing is he can strikeout one guy per inning. There will likely be hiccups. There always is. There’s also rumblings that he might get moved to the bullpen to be groomed to be the closer. I doubt it happens, but those are rumblings you should be aware of. To be conservative, I’d say Neftali Feliz’s 2010 is 130 innings with a 3.30 ERA and 120 Ks. Definitely someone that can be a solid number 3 to 4 in fantasy. Upside, I’d say his 2010 looks like Tommy Hanson’s 2009. So if you can get Feliz, you should be happy. (Spanish pun point for Grey.)