With his three-hit game yesterday, Pedro Feliz raised his batting average to .318, third among National League third basemen. His 35 RBI rates fifth in the league, while his .360 on-base percentage (58 points higher than 2008) is sixth.
While we’ve been shining a light on Raul Ibanez, Feliz’s dramatic improvement rates as one of the main reasons the Phillies prodigious offense has lifted the club to a near-.600 winning percentage.
Of course, Feliz’s true weight can be shown in his clutch abilities. From the championship-winning hit to countless other clutch moments in 2008, we saw Feliz was capable of big play in big situations. This year, it continues:
Two outs, RISP: 8-for-22 (.364), .440 OBP, .591 SLG, HR, 10 RBI
Late & close: 12-for-33 (.364), .371 OBP, .455 SLG, 2 RBI
High leverage: 12-for-30 (.400), .432 OBP, .567 SLG, HR, 10 RBI
Feliz also jumps to a .357 hitter (.394 OBP) with runners on base. But Feliz’s clutch abilities were no more relevant than yesterday, when he started the Phils’ four-run fourth with a single, then scored the big hit in the sixth-run seventh, a two-run double that broke open the game.
We shouldn’t forget to mention Feliz’s top defensive skills. He’s fifth in the National League in zone rating (among those with over 400 innings), but that doesn’t properly show the bunches of top plays and almost flawless amount of bullet throws on close plays.
Is a “Vote For Pedro” campaign necessary for the All Star Game? With a few worthy candidates in the Phils’ own division (Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright, Chipper Jones), it might be tough to slide Feliz into the mix. But maybe his manager is thinking about making Feliz his final addition.