Red Sox top prospect Durbin Feltman shines in Grapefruit League debut

Rob Bradford
March 14, 2019 - 4:23 pm

Durbin Feltman left quite a first impression.

The Red Sox' third-round pick from last June's draft has always been considered to be on the fast track to the majors having dominated as a closer for TCU. He did nothing to dissuade the notion that the righty might be close to big-league ready during his stints in Single-A Lowell, Greenville and Salem in his first pro season.

Thursday Feltman got his chance to take another step. The 21-year-old saw his first Grapefruit League action, pitching the ninth inning in what would end up a 4-4 tie between the Sox and Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.

Feltman first fanned Hector Sanchez before striking out Harold Castro. While the reliever did walk Gordon Beckham, he managed to step off and catch Beckham trying to steal to end the threat. Sanchez is a switch-hitting catcher with 347 big league games under his belt, while the left-handed-hitting Castro broke into the majors last year.

Feltman's fastball sat at 95 mph, while his curveball/slider proved especially effective, being clocked in the mid-80's.

"That was awesome, coming into the ninth inning is always cool, especially on the big-league side, that was quite the experience," Feltman told reporters after the game. "Got out there, command was a little spotty but it was fun to see how my stuff plays and get used to the smaller strike zone and stuff like that, it was a great experience."

Before Thursday's game, Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained the challenges of someone like Feltman making the jump to the big leagues.

"I saw him Monday. The stuff was there. You can see it," Cora told reporters. "Everybody knows about him. I still remember people thought he was going to be the savior last year when he got drafted. It’s not that easy. It’s not that easy. We went through it in ’05 [with Craig Hansen] and he was kind of like the guy and it didn’t turn out to be that. You’ve got to be very careful. This is still the big leagues. I don’t know if I have told you guys, my brother, he puts it in a very particular way. It’s a-ball, double-a, triple-a, it’s not 4-a, it’s MLB. There’s a difference. There’s a big jump from the A’s to MLB. There’s a period of adjustment."

To read more about Feltman's evolution, click here.