Right-handed pitching prospect Durbin Feltman was one of 22 non-roster invitees that the Red Sox added to their spring training roster earlier Friday evening. He will be one of 30 players the club invited to major-league spring training when camp begins next week.
The 23-year-old, like a majority of minor-leaguers, did not have any sort of season to take part in last year.
Some had the luxury of being invited to their respective team’s alternate training sites over the course of the 2020 season, but Feltman was not one of them.
Instead, the former 2018 third-round draft pick out of Texas Christian University was on his own, and he was rather disappointed to not be included in the Sox’ 60-man player pool at any point last season.
“I was frustrated, upset,” Feltman told BloggingtheRedSox.com back in December. “Just not being invited [after] thinking I was going to go — I was frustrated the whole time because I figured ‘Hey, I’m going to use this time the best I can.’ I’m not going to get time like this again, barring another pandemic, to be able to do whatever I want and work on things. So, I used it the best I could and figured out some stuff. I feel like I figured out a lot.”
By figuring a lot out on his own time over the summer, the flame-throwing reliever was able to bring with him to the Sox’ fall instructional league a chip on his shoulder. He was out to show the club what they missed out on by not inviting him to the alternate site.
“I came in there with a chip on my shoulder and was like ‘Hey, this is what you missed out on at the alternate site,'” Feltman said. “Hopefully I showed enough, I felt like I did. And I’m carrying that into 2021 as well.”
According to SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, Feltman “put in the work at instructs, as he looked much closer to the pitcher we saw in 2018 than he did at any time in 2019. Feltman’s velocity came back, as he was up to 96 mph, mostly sitting 93-94 mph. His 85-87 mph slider flashed above-average potential, and even though it was not as crisp as it used to be, he still was able to use it to get swinging strikes. He also mixed in his low-80s curveball, which was a good change of pace to his slider.”
While Cundall noted that Feltman’s ability to control and command the strike zone are still long-term concerns, he also wrote that “the stuff he showed at Instructs definitely could play in a middle relief role at the major-league level.”
Feltman, who turns 24 in April, is eligible for this year’s Rule 5 Draft in December unless he is added to Boston’s 40-man roster by November 20.
“Obviously, I don’t want to have to go through the Rule 5 Draft,” the Texas native said. “Because if you’ve been in the big-leagues you’re not getting Rule 5 drafted.”
Having pointed that out, it would appear that Feltman would not be opposed to making his major-league debut this year, or at the very least impress enough to make the Sox’ 40-man roster by the November deadline.
With those goals in mind, Feltman — currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the organization’s No. 29 prospect — being invited to Red Sox spring training as a non-roster invite is surely a step in the right direction.
(Picture of Durbin Feltman: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)