Through 13 minor league seasons, all Jesus Feliciano did was hit, hit, and hit some more, posting a career .285 batting average while playing solid outfield defense.
However, he didn’t do much else. For example, he didn’t get on base very often until fairly recently, he didn’t do anything extraordinary on the bases, and he didn’t hit for much power. In many ways, he was the minor league, outfield version of Luis Castillo: a singles hitter with above-average speed and solid defensive skills. Unfortunately for Feliciano, there isn’t much demand for an outfielder with Luis Castillo‘s offensive skill set.
Thanks to a rash of injuries, Feliciano finally made it to the bigs in 2010, and showed a ton of hustle, strong fundamentals, and the ability to put the bat on the ball. He didn’t get the ball to fall safely often enough to turn heads (.231 AVG / .276 OBP / .563 OPS in 119 plate appearances), but he did provide entertainment with his occasional RBI singles, strong defense, and passion for the game. His MLB debut at age 31 was an inspiration and one of the feel-good stories of 2010.
Unless something awful happens in 2011, there likely isn’t room in the Mets outfield for Jesus Feliciano. I imagine he’ll either move on to another organization or return to Buffalo next season, and keep grinding it out. He knows how to play the game, respects it, and should have a career as a coach or manager some day if he chooses to go that route.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.