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Year in Review: Pedro Feliz

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 11, 2009 08:25 AM | Comments: 83
2009 Year in Review, Posts

Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale.  The players will be chosen in no particular order.

Philadelphia Phillies' Pedro Feliz (7) rounds the bases as his teammates cheer from the dugout after a solo home run in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Yankees Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The numbers don’t lie: .323, .302, .295, .290, .275, .267, .266.

Each figure represents Pedro Feliz’s batting average on the final day of the month.  The Phils third baseman started off smoking hot, and emitted that heat through the month of May.  For two months, he was perhaps the most solid batter in the order.

Then things clearly went south.  Feliz came back to earth and his average by the end of the season was at .266 – basically on par with his career numbers.  As the season wound down, so did Feliz.  Maybe it was his age (34), or his duties playing a tough position.  Whatever the case, it was a steady decline.

When swinging the stick, his numbers were decent.  In 158 games, Feliz hit 12 home runs and knocked in 82 runs.  A telling stat was his ability to come through with runners in scoring position.  Feliz managed a team best .336 average in that situation, a testament more so to the offense as a whole than his aptitude with the bat.  Pedro 7th position in the order clearly paid dividends, as he benefited nicely hitting behind Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez.

Defensively, Feliz has been a rock at one of the most important positions on the diamond.  Many believe him to be near the top of his position when it comes to flashing the leather.  However, his numbers would prove otherwise.

The basics stats on defense show Feliz to be very good in comparison to other NL 3B’s. His 15 errors in 1364 innings are fine and his 35 double plays turned were tops in the league.  But if you go by The Fielding Bible, you’ll notice that Feliz is not among the leaderboard when it comes to plus/minus, a statistic which represents the number of plays a player made above or below the number that an average fielder would make.

Factoring in plus/minus, Pedro Feliz was above average at +5. That wasn’t even close to the guys at the top of the list, like Chone Figgins (+40), Ryan Zimmerman (+28), Adrian Beltre (+27), and Scott Rolen (+21).  His defensive zone rating is also average compared to those at his position.  While Feliz certainly did make a real difference offensively for half of the season and was a solid defender throughout, he clearly regressed from start to finish on both sides of the ball.

Ruben Amaro may have noticed the trend and therefore decided to decline his option for the 2010 season. That does not mean Feliz will not be back, but Amaro is making it clear he is worth less than the $5.5 million he was owed.  Two of those gentlemen at the top of the list, Figgins and Beltre, are available through free agency.  Could one be next at the hot corner here in Philly?

It was a productive season for Pedro Feliz.  The postseason was clearly a different story, as Pete Happy managed just nine hits in 54 at-bats in the playoffs, consistently killing rallies in October.  He is on the downside of what has been a serviceable career and it appears his time here in red pinstripes is over.

2009 numbers: 158 games, .266 avg., 12 HR, 82 RBI, 62 R, .694 OPS, .336 BA/RISP

GRADE: 5/10 – Feliz was average, plain and simple.  His defense was surely solid, but his bat, compared to other corner infielders (power positions) was well below the league average.

Pat Gallen can be reached via email at Pat@Philliesnation.com

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    5/10 seems ok. I think he deserves at least a 6/10. He saved the Phillies a lot of runs with his defense and his hits early in the year with RISP, especially late in games really went understated by a lot.

    I heard that the Phillies are really considering Figgins which really surprises me. Really I would only want him if he was going to become the lead off hitter. Ponder this for a second, if Figgins becomes the lead off hitter, can you expect J-Roll to change his plate approach and maybe be that guy that provides some power from the right handed side of the plate?

    I really thought the Phillies would go after Beltre or DeRosa first since I don’t see J-roll being moved down in the lineup.

    Personally I don’t get this at all. I think they need more power from the right handed side of the plate more than they do a true lead off hitter. Beltre is that guy. Maybe they are worried about his injury history, a valid concern but before last year he had played at least 149 games for 5 straight years. But even still, Beltre is a better fielder, hits for more power and is a type B free agent compared to Figgins who is a type A and is going to cost you, your first round pick and a sandwich pick.

    Honestly, I think I’d rather have Pedro back on the cheap and use the extra cash to go after bullpen arms then to sign Figgins and then hamstring you in other areas.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Ed R., the fact is, he did not save as many runs as you think. According to the Fielding Bible, he saved just 5 runs this season, while in comparison, Chone Figgins saved 31 and Adrian Beltre 22! It wasnt even close.

    I think Feliz was solid, but he’s not as great as everyone is making him out to be.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Thanks for the correction Pat. I guess its entirely possible that going from David Bell/Wes Helms to Feliz made it seem like Feliz was more of a vacuum than he really is.

    By the same token it seems like Figgins would be a defensive upgrade, which is of course fantastic but I still feel like the Phillies need more power, crazy as it is to say than they do speed. But again, if Rollins can move down in the order and you have something like:

    Figgins
    Victorino
    Utley
    Howard
    Werth
    Ibanez
    Rollins
    Ruiz
    Pitcher

    I guess that would work but I can’t see a guy who has been the lead off hitter for the better part of a decade suddenly being happy with being the 7th hitter. Not unless you consider:

    Figgins
    Utley
    Werth
    Howard
    Rollins
    banez
    Victorino
    Ruiz

    I could see that happening, not sure I am happy with it though.

    Thoughts?

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I think that Utley-Howard-Werth is pretty much set in stone for next season, especially after Werth’s monster year.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    If the Phillies say they have as much cash to spend as they do, then getting Figgins shouldnt be a problem. However, if he wants 4-5 years at $10MM a year , no thanks.

    The safer bet would be Beltre. He’s young, gives you some power, great D, and is still only 30. He’d come much cheap and he doesnt give you the top of the order player your looking for, the lineup will still be powerful (maybe even more so than a year ago).

    I would put Beltre maybe 6, Ibanez 7 to give some righty power there.

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Agree with the 5 out of 10, solid, but not spectacular. While not a small market team, the Phils can’t have an all-star at every position, and really need to think through where they are going to spend their money (not sour grapes, just a fact). Going for Figgins would seem to be a drastic change in the offense (not bad, but very different). I think the money could be better spent in a righty starter. If Figgins is the path forward, suggest the following line-up:
    Figgins
    Rollins
    Utley
    Howard
    Werth
    Ibanez
    Victorino
    Ruiz
    While Rollins has his issues at the plate, I Vic is a terrible situational hitter, would be much better suited to 7 in this line-up.
    I hope they resign Pedro at a lower rate, but the Phils typically telegraph their moves. By declining Pedro’s option, I think they have a plan for replacement already (Figgins or Beltre). I’d lean towards Figgins, but it is going to hurt soem feelings.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Feliz ranked 9th in RBI among all third basemen…

    1. Longoria = 113,
    2. Zimmerman = 106,
    3. Reynolds = 102,
    4. ARod = 100,
    5. Sandoval = 90,
    6. Kouzmanoff = 88,
    7. Inge =84,
    8. Peralta = 83 ,
    9. Feliz = 82,
    10. Blake = 79

    Of the 8 ahead of him, only 4 had a higher batting average..

    Those four are:
    1. Longoria = .281,
    2. Zimmerman = .292,
    3. ARod = .286,
    4. Sandoval = .330
    5. Feliz = .266

    There are a few guys with less RBI, but higher averages… David Wright, Michael Young, Chone Figgins,


    Basically, Pedro ain’t the greatest player of all time… but he’s a better than average thirdbasemen

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree with you Pat. To me Beltre is the better option and I think he can thrive batting 6 or 7 in this lineup. In Seattle he didn’t see anything to hit for years, it would obviously be a different story here.

    With Figgins, I feel like the Phillies are pursuing him because they can, not necessarily because they need him. I really don’t think they do. I would much rather the money go to pitching. If you can’t get Beltre for maybe a 1-2 mil more than you were going to pay Feliz then I would just bring back Feliz.

    I agree with you Manny that Utley, Howard and Werth is the 3-4-5 for at least one more year.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I doubt theyd sign Figgins, it causes too many problems with the lineup, you kind of need at least a bit of pop from 3B. Figgins also has never done squat in the postseason in his career.

     
  • Posts: 580 Brian Michael

    Avatar of Brian Michael

    I still think there’s a chance of resigning Feliz for less than his declined club option of $5 mil. I think at a lower price he he would definitely be worth the money. That said, 3B is one of the few (only?) positions the Phillies could use an upgrade.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Don M. it is also worth mentioning that the first 5 3B’s that had more RBI than Feliz, were their respective teams 3-5 hitters whereas Feliz batted 7th for the Phillies.

    Honestly, Figgins had a spectacular year last year but the year before that he had 1 home run and 22 rbi. Sure he steals a lot of bases but you have to believe that as he gets older those numbers will decline. His OBP and OPS are both outstanding and if he can continue to have some solid plate discipline then all the better but I really think the Phillies need the power more than anything else.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree Brian in that 3B is about the only position where they could use an upgrade, maybe catcher but Ruiz is so clutch and calls such a good game that I think he is perfectly suited where he is.

    It’s also worth mentioning that people ripped Feliz for his awful post season this past year but for their career’s, Figgin’s post season numbers make Feliz look like Mr. October.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    They have to be thinking about Beltre or DeRosa. I dont see how Figgins fits onto this team. Beltre seems to fit. DeRosa fits on any team. I cant see Figgins…

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    DeRosa does fit on any team but not as a starter, not in my mind.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    5 out of 10 is harsh… 80+ RBI, solid defense (although, by his standards, could have been better…) still, looking at the numbers, he had a good year: 4th in the NL in UZR, best on the team with RISP, best in the bigs at turning double plays. He’s a nice fit… I disagree with the comment about him not comparing well with other corner infielders and third base being a power position. I think that the game has changed; guys like Utley and Kinsler can generate power at 2B, meaning that you might not need power at 3B.

    If we bring someone in who hits 20 points better throughout the season but 20 points worse with RISP and can’t turn half of the DP’s that Feliz was able to turn is that really good for our team? I like Feliz… I see why you might be worried that he’s on the decline and I’m ok with seeking out a replacement but Feliz deserves more credit for what he did.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    correct

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I’m sorry but I’d take Figgins over J-roll as my leadoff guy these days. He’d definitely be an upgrade. Remember last year when we were saying how Rauuuuul wouldn’t be the right “fit” for this team (too many lefties, bla bla bla)… and we worked around it. What happened? Rauuul was amazing and Werth stepped up. I can see a similar story with Figgins… he’d be great as leadoff (who cares if he doesn’t hit HRs, he’s the leadoff guy!) and he’d make J-roll a better player –despite batting 7th or whatever!

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I agree with that, Original. That’s why I think that IF we’re gonna upgrade 3B, we might as well go for a true upgrade like Figgins. If not, we’re still very good with Feliz on board, and I’d be happy if he stays with us in the end.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Manny I don’t have a problem with Figgins not hitting home runs. Like I said a few days ago, I think what lead to Rollin’s decline in numbers was that he fell in love with the long ball instead of doing what he did best was hitting to the gaps and down the lines. If he can get back to that we are fine. My issue with Figgins is more that signing him is more expensive than other options out there and his signing would require shifting the line up, more so than I think is needed.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Who knows how expensive this free agent market will be? I really don’t see Figgins getting a 4 or 5 year deal, given the gloomy economic conditions. And I don’t see many teams interested in Figgins either. So…. I think that the chances of snatching him for a fair price are bigger than what most people think.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Not to mention Figgins requires handing over draft picks. I would be ok doing that for a solid starter or a good bull pen arm, but not at 3B. Not when we can just as easily bring back Feliz.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    You may be right Manny. After all, we probably paid more for Ibanez than we needed to. Not to say he didn’t earn it but in hindsight he probably would have come cheaper given what Abreau and Burrell both signed for last year.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Is Figgins a good “character” guy, by the way? I don’t know a thing about what he brings to a clubhouse (that is, besides strong defense, speed, and runs, haha).

    Also:

    The Phillies are “showing preliminary interest” in free agent reliever Fernando Rodney, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Yeah Rodney would be an OK temporary closer if he needed to be.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Figgins-on-Phillies-front-burner?urn=mlb,201688

    You have Mark Miller of Yahoo saying Figgins is on the “front burner” for the Phillies right off the bat. Not sure you can ever fully believe the big guns when it comes to something like this – id rather hear it from Murphy or Martino or Zolecki.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Yeah I agree, I need local confirmation of that. Those guys dont know the Phillies as well.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Beacuse the only way Figgins fits into this lineup is if they trade Victorino for pitching. Im not saying thats the way to go, but Im just trying to see how he even fits here.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I am friends with a life time Tigers fan, lives in Detroit and he never seemed happy when Rodney came into the game. Rodney like many closers seemed to do so much better in save situations than non save situations, which, if you are trying to find a back up for Lidge can go one of two ways. It is good that he can be solid if he needs to step in for Lidge but what about if he doesn’t? What good is he to the team if he has like a 6.00 era(ball park) in non save situations.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob Kahn

    Drop the grades!

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Yeah thats bad. Some of these type A guys will not get offered arbitration beacuse they would accept it. I sitll say its Soriano, no way they will offer him Arbitration.

     
  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    I don’t see the Phils really going after Figgins. Too expensive. With his age, that looks like a bad contract waiting to happen.

    Beltre looks a lot better.

    Or Polanco. Hasn’t played much third, but I think he could. He’s a professional hitter. Very tough out.

    They don’t need a lot of power out of the No. 7 hole. But I’d like to see the Phils get someone who’s a tough out at the bottom of the order, a guy who makes the pitcher work, gets on base and can jump start an inning for the big boys.

    Pedro Feliz never did that. Yeah, he had 82 RBIs, but more often than not, he swings at the first pitch and grounds out. That’s not what this lineup needs.

    I would argue that we could get a third baseman who will put up similar numbers, but they’ll be more productive numbers. Someone who’s a tough out, has a higher OPS and will help the rest of the lineup more by mkaing the pitcher work.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I’m strongly against Figgins… I just don’t see that ending well. He’s a good player but at 31 years old, he’s probably going to command a pretty lofty salary and he’s a Type A and he doesn’t really fit with what we’ve got. For once, I agree with Geoff; unless pieces are being subtracted (namely Victorino), I don’t see how this works.

    Beltre might be the best fit but he’s going to cost us a lot of coin and a shot at potentially getting a guy like Roy Halladay.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Couldn’t agree more Original.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Philly Texan – I somewhat disagree… while I’m not dismissing the Polanco idea, I think that Pedro’s aggressiveness is welcomed in the 7 hole. Rarely is he jump starting anything… more often than not, his most important at bats are when there’s a man on base (situations where one of Howard, Werth, Ibanez reached base and it’s left up to Feliz to drive them in). If Pedro can’t drive in runs, he leaves it up to Chooch and the pitcher and I love Chooch but he’s not exactly an RBI machine, plus if there’s a base open, Chooch isn’t going to see a quality pitch to hit. On the rare occasion that Feliz leads off an inning, you have Chooch and an automatic out behind him… and then it’s up to Jimmy (not really jump starting a rally there).

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    At the beginning of the year, Feliz did help turn over the lineup. Anyone who ends up with 82 RBIs out of the seven hole can’t be considered non-productive.

    The biggest problem with Feliz was his gradual slowdown through the season. Age is probably a factor in that. That’s probably why the Phils are looking for an upgrade.

    I also think that switching the lineup around is the right approach, rather than more power. Rollins just isn’t any good as a leadoff hitter. The Phils have power aplenty right now, but too many times this year the homers were solo shots. An OBP under .300 just doesn’t cut it leading off. You also can’t play small ball when no one is on base. If Rollins doesn’t like the seven hole, too bad. He’d probably be fine with it, though.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Feliz was certainly good in the 7 hole, not dismissing him. However, he sees a ton of pitches because of who he hits behind. I’d like to think, with better power, Beltre would give you just as many RBI, if not more. Plus, better D.

    The more I think about it, if Beltre wants to go 2 yrs, $16 mil, why the hell not. I could get 75 RBI in that lineup batting 7th.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    He had a great first half. What did that coincide with? Raul Ibanez’s sickly hot first half as well. It seemed when Raul faded, so did Pedro. We need just a tad more stability there.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phils fan in NYC

    eh, i liked Feliz… he did have those mindboggling/swing at the first pitch at-bats that made us all crazy, but he was good while in philly. had a big hit in the series vs. tampa, big HR vs. chamberlain, had a few big hits during the seasons as well, etc. I think we can all look fondly on him. 266-12-82 isn’t a bad season by any means… and everyone on the team seemed to like him. Character can go a long way sometimes.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Interesting article on what determines a Free Agent’s classification.

    http://deadspin.com/5401617/baseballs-free-agency-system-is-seriously-seriously-screwed-up

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    For some reason something clicks the minute Pedro has runners on base… I like the guy.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    That’s the concern, George and I share that concern… is his age slowing him down? I’m really ok with seeking out a replacement but I think that you have to find someone that is above average defensively and someone that can drive in runs at an affordable price. Feliz really was the perfect fit for this team; the book on Feliz has always been that he comes up with clutch hits. I don’t see Figgins fulfilling that role… so you’d have to switch the lineup and that’s probably not going to happen. It’s really tough moving Jimmy out of that leadoff spot because he is our best base runner (the one guy that can steal a base at will). His OBP is not leadoff material but if you move him into the 7 hole, you essentially take away his ability to run (he’s not going to steal second with Chooch up and the pitcher on deck). So you would have to move Vic and the only way you do that is if you feel like Brown is ready to replace him. I love Brown but I’m not sure if he’s ready. Truth be told, I’m not really high on Vic so a trade would be fine by me- Vic’s defense is not that great (UZR is in minus territory) and he’s going to wear down because he puts so much strain on his body on a daily basis. He’s a grinder but he has probably benefitted from being a part of this lineup more than anybody else… I think that he’s replaceable. Ibanez is bridging the gap for Taylor… other than that, the name of the game is to keep what we’ve got and add pitching.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I’m going to go a little nuts… assuming that we have $15 million to work with, my dream scenario would be this:

    Trade Vic and Trevor May for Halladay and start D. Brown or Michael Taylor, if Taylor, Werth in CF (net cost $9 million)- try to work on an extension but be happy with two picks if Roy walks. Thinking about a Lee/Halladay/Hamels/Happ/Drabek rotation makes me giddy… but extending Lee and Halladay might only be doable if you trade someone like Hamels. Next years FA’s: Rollins ($8.5 mil option, $2 mil buyout), Werth, Moyer, Blanton, Lee, Durbin. The only money we lose is Moyer, Blanton and Durbin (about $15 million)… everything is leading up to 2012 and we have to have a lot of money available. We have to be thinking about Brown and Taylor and Drabek if we want to keep this team together.

    Re-Sign Feliz for $4 million (net savings of $1 million).

    Sign Jerry Hairston, Jr… a much cheaper utility alternative… $1-2 million

    Spend $5 million on bullpen depth…

     
  • Posts: 0 Phils fan in NYC

    espn is talking mike lowell to the phils… i guess that has to be a trade though, right?

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Correct Phils fan, that would require a trade. But it won’t happen. The Phillies wont trade for someone coming off two straight injury plagued seasons when healthier and better options are out there without having to give up prospects.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    They dont want Lowell. Boston is stuck with him. Lowell would be a downgrade from Feliz because in the National League you actually have to have some athletic ability, and Lowell is a stiff at this point.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    No idea what “UZR” is, and i’ve stated lots of times that im not a big Victorino fan

    but there is no denying that he is one of the best defenders in all of baseball..

    He should be collecting his 2nd Gold Glove later today, and it will be well deserved..

    And it’s hard to knock a guy that leads the team in batting average the past two years as a “grinder” … he is that scrappy-player. But he gets a lot of multi-hit games and stuff too .. he’s got more skill than I give him credit for, and I would really hate to see him play for another team

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    The Red Sox are dying to get rid of Lowell… could that be an option if the Red Sox were willing to eat most of his salary?

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    We were so pissed when we didn’t sign Mike Lowell, pissed when we didn’t get Soriano, Derek Lowe… and the list goes on

    I am so very grateful for the Phillies organization.. and the great job they’ve done from top-to-bottom, on field, and off ..

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Yeah they made the right choice in those cases. Trading for Lowell would make the team WORSE, not BETTER. They cut Feliz so they can get BETTER. Lowell hasnt really played in two years. He cannot field anymore, his bat has gone silent too. That would be a major mistake, and the Phillies will not make that mistake.

    Soriano is a bad contract too, so is Lowe’s (man he dropped off in a slightly smaller ballpark).

    Sometimes its the money you dont spend so that when you do spend it you make the right choice.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    J-Roll and Victorino should both keep their gold gloves from last year and Utley should win his first.

     
 
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