Despite being uncommon, this future Red Sox prospect is expected to make an impact on the big league club.
In most cases, the MLB draft proves to be a time for clubs to re-stock the farm system based on players with the most potential. In rare instances, the player may have a high ceiling and be on the fast track to the big league club.
Meet former TCU closer, Durbin Feltman.
The Red Sox selected Feltman with the 100th overall pick in the draft. The hard throwing reliever had prolific success within the Big 12. He struck out 43 hitters in 24 1/3 innings en route to a sizzling 0.74 ERA.
Feltman is a smaller reliever a 5′ 11,” but that doesn’t stop him from overpowering hitters on a consistent basis – featuring a fastball that reaches 99 mph. There are many MLB analysts that believe Feltman may crack the big leagues this season – yes, this season.
His stuff is as good as advertised with a 70 Grade fastball – which is considered elite and a slider that ranges from 60-70 on the evaluation scale.
I had the opportunity of catching up with Durbin and asking him a few questions:
Question: Pre-Draft: Who was your favorite MLB team?
DF: “The Astros were my favorite team growing up because I’m from Houston so grew up watching them. However since I was a little kid I’ve been a huge [New England] Patriots fan so Boston has always been on my list. Playing for the Red Sox would be unbelievable.”
Question: You’ve been tabbed as one of the only players drafted that has a chance to make an immediate impact with the big league club…how does that feel?
DF: It’s a pretty cool feeling that people think I can make an impact so quickly. I’m always up for the challenge and if the Red Sox think I’m ready this season to help them in someway then I will be up for the task.
Question: Which pitcher would you compare your style / arsenal to?
DF: I try to model my game after Craig Kimbrel and Cody Allen. You try to be like the best in the game and in my opinion Kimbrel is the best closer in the game. I enjoy watching the bulldog mentality he pitches with which I think helps tremendously.
Durbin also mentioned that he’d love to get the opportunity to face Luken Baker (Drafted 75th overall by the Cardinals) in the big leagues as they’ve been childhood friends.
Clearly, the idea of sliding a proven collegiate reliever into a playoff-ready bullpen would be excellent. Feltman has the raw stuff and potential to develop into a future shutdown closer in Boston.
It is possible that upon signing, the Red Sox would start the All-American in High A, or even AA. This would allow for the potential for a quick trip through the farm system without rushing. Craig Hansen, a former Red Sox draft pick, was a story of why not to rush a prospect through the system. The former first round pick was never able to figure it out at the big league, due to developing poor habits.
With this being said, there is no doubt that Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski will take the proper steps to ensure that Durbin is ready to go before reaching Boston.
Whether Feltman makes the leap to the big leagues this season, or not, there is plenty for Red Sox fans to get excited to about.
Take a look:
— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) April 28, 2018