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2009 Projection: Pedro Feliz

Pedro Feliz, 3B (RHB)
Age: 33 (34, April 27)

2008: 425 AB / 43 R / 14 HR / 58 RBI / 33 BB / 54 SO / 0 SB / .249 AVG / .302 OBP / .402 SLG

Summary: When the Phillies acquired Pedro Feliz, people became conditioned to live with the fact that Feliz wouldn’t hit well, but would supply enough power and defense to justify his everyday role. He did exactly that in 2008, though his counting numbers were down (he was injured). His averages hovered at career norms, though his on-base mark was higher than usual, and his slugging mark was lower. He was pretty good against lefties, but not righties, and splendid in close-and-late situations (.943 OPS), capped by his world championship-winning single up the middle. Feliz’s worth was proven defensively, as he committed just eight errors at third base in solid work.

Career Level: Post-Prime (Year 3)

Green Flags: Feliz’s walk rate rose from 4.9 percent to 7.2 percent, easily his highest mark yet. … Conversely, Feliz’s strikeout rate remained down at 12.7 percent, among the lowest of his career. … Feliz remains a versatile hitter in and out of the strike zone, but does swing a little too much when the ball is off the plate.

Red Flags: The slugging percentage was down considerably from the last few years. … Feliz’s fly ball rate dropped into the 37 percent range, which was unexpected after moving from San Francisco to Philadelphia. … There isn’t a lot of hope that Feliz will have a tremendous bounceback year at the plate. … Feliz’s back continues to be a problem, though he shaped up and is ready for opening night.

Prognostication: I can’t think Feliz will have a genuinely healthy season, especially as there were thoughts he might start the season on the trainer’s table. Still, he should enjoy a slight increase in production despite the fewer appearances. His 2008 was more an aberration, though it’s not far off from the norm, and close to indicative of a man on the descent.

2009 Projection: 411 AB / 45 R / 13 HR / 53 RBI / 39 BB / 50 SO / 1 SB / .265 AVG / .308 OBP / .410 SLG

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