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August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Ten Pack

August 26, 2013

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff


Michael Feliz, RHP, Astros (Short-Season Tri-City)
I haven’t been overly impressed with the talent in the New York-Penn League this summer, and it doesn’t take a gifted mind to add up all the prospects with legitimate major-league projections. Both at the fields and on the phones, I’ve been asking around about the names to know, and the arm that has received the most love is Astros’ right-hander Michael Feliz. Armed with an unforgiving fastball that works comfortably in the 94-96 mph range and can touch 98 with late life, Feliz is hard to touch, much less square for hard contact. His low-80s slider has some flash to it, and several sources said you don’t have to squint to see a future plus offering.

The changeup is immature, but the Dominican arm won’t turn 20 until late September, giving him a very long developmental road left on which to figure it out. It’s worth noting that Feliz was originally signed as a free agent by the Athletics in the 2010 offseason, but his professional contract was voided and his $800k bonus stripped when he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Scooped up a few months later by the Astros for half the price, Feliz served his time, has remained clean in the face of rigorous testing, and has really blossomed as a prospect in 2013. The development of the changeup and the refinement of the command will decide his long-term fate, but the easy cheese that explodes from his intimating 6’4’’ frame is going to play, and in a league that lacks much impact potential, Feliz stands out as a player to pay attention to. –Jason Parks

Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah)
After an elbow injury caused Matz to lose both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, this left-handed starter is beginning to show strong promise and emerge as a sleeper within the Mets’ system. The arsenal is a four-pitch mix, highlighted by a 93-96 mph that explodes on batters and shows tail when the lefty is staying on top of the ball. Matz will also throw a 91-93 mph cutter that flashes plus. The 22-year-old gives two looks with his cutter, running it away from left-handed hitters and back-dooring it against right-handed batters. Both the heater and cutter can miss bats or produce weak contact.

Matz’s curveball and changeup presently grade as about fringe-average, but show plus potential. The lefty feels both pitches well. The curve shows good bite at 77-79 mph, but Matz can wrap his wrist too much when throwing the pitch and it becomes slurvy. The change is thrown with a circle grip, and will display bottoming-out action or fade depending on how much he turns the offering over. One veteran scout who recently saw the pitcher came away impressed with how balanced Matz stays, and said all four pitches have plus-to-better potential. It’s a mid-rotation profile, though the cloud of prior injury will hang while he continues to build the resume. –Chris Mellen

Jim Adduci, OF, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock)
A 10-year minor-league veteran, Adduci is a strong candidate to receive his first big-league call when rosters expand next week. The 28-year-old outfielder signed with Texas on a minor-league deal last offseason after spending parts of six seasons with the Cubs organization. In 121 games at Triple-A Round Rock this year, Adduci is hitting .290/.373/.453 and ranks second in the Pacific Coast League with 32 steals.

In addition to his strong results, Adduci has a few intriguing tools, including some feel to hit, a little raw juice, and plus speed from his strong 6-foot-2 frame. The former 42nd-round pick has also tapped into some of his raw power this season, socking a career-best 15 home runs after hitting only 24 total in his previous nine years. His swing can get long at times, leading to inconsistency, though he has been locked in this month. Despite his speed, Adduci is just a pedestrian defender at the corners and isn’t an ideal fit in center. Perhaps he’s ultimately no more than a usable reserve, but his intriguing tools––coupled with this year’s results––should at least earn him a major-league look. –Jason Cole

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Related Content:  Minnesota Twins,  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Five M... (08/26)
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Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (08/27)

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