After our community top twenty prospects list began with three position players in the top four spots, we had two consecutive pitchers with a third one appearing to be on the way. Sure enough, the battle for the seventh spot largely came down to a pair of pitchers, one a reliever and the other a starter. As it turns out, the reliever got the majority of the votes in a battle that didn’t end up being all that close. Our number seven prospect is Durbin Feltman, who received 23 of 36 votes (64 percent).
Feltman is perhaps the most well-known third-round pick in recent Red Sox history, though it’s not really a huge surprise. Coming into the draft, Feltman was seen as arguably the best reliever in all of college baseball after a dominant career at Texas Christian University, and many believed he would be most likely from the entire draft class to jump up to the majors at some point that same year. The Red Sox decided they didn’t want to push him so quickly, but despite it not coming in 2018 it was clear Boston was looking for some relatively quick impact in the bullpen with this third round selection.
While Feltman didn’t make that jump to the majors and the organization was relatively slow-moving with the right-handed reliever, he didn’t do anything to quell the praise thrown on him with his first taste of pro ball. He was sent to Lowell after signing a $559,600 bonus, but he wouldn’t be there long. After just four games against New York-Penn League competition, Feltman moved on up to Greenville for seven games in A-Ball. He wasn’t done moving, either, as he’d eventually move on up to High-A Salem, where he’d finish his year out with eleven appearances at the level. All in all, Feltman was dominant across the three levels as a 21-year-old, pitching to a 1.93 ERA over 22 appearances and 23 1⁄3 innings with 36 strikeouts and only five walks. He also didn’t allow a home run in that time.
Like most dominant relievers in today’s game, Feltman is largely a fastball/breaking ball pitcher whose breaking ball is primarily a slider. He does apparently have a curveball he spins from time to time, but that’s not projected to be a part of his game at the highest level. For the righty, it all starts with his fastball, which fits the part of a potential late-inning arm. Feltman’s heat sits in the mid-90s and has reportedly gotten higher than that at times, with Sox Prospects scouting report saying it’s gotten as high as 99 mph. Along with the big heat, he also has a great slider that projects to be a legitimate out pitch. There are some slight command issues to work out, but for the most part Feltman is a finished product who really just needs to get used to the professional game. The biggest knock on the righty’s game is his delivery, which can be violent and have many worried about his future health. There have been a lot of evaluators who have said the Red Sox should get him to the majors as soon as possible before injuries start to pile up for him. As long as he’s healthy, though, it’s hard not to be excited.
So, that brings us to this year. As far as I can tell, Feltman hasn’t officially been added as a non-roster invitee in major-league camp, but he will almost certainly see major-league game action in spring training. From there, it’ll be interesting to see where they go. As a Portland resident, I’m hoping they continue to send him straight up the line with a stint at Double-A before going to Pawtucket. I’m not sure that makes sense, though. I think there’s a slight possibility he makes the major-league roster out of camp if there are a couple injuries and he really impresses in camp, but most likely to me is that they send him right to Pawtucket. That’ll get him experience against hitters who have played in the majors before and have him ready to come up and help for real as soon as mid-May. There will be plenty of competition for Feltman on when that initial call-up will come, but there’s little doubt we’ll see him in Boston at some point in 2019 as long as he stays healthy.
Here is our full list so far.
- Michael Chavis
- Darwinzon Hernandez
- Triston Casas
- Bobby Dalbec
- Jay Groome
- Tanner Houck
- Durbin Feltman
Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number eight. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. Until next time...