There might not be an easier player in baseball to project than Pedro Feliz. Always known for his glove more than his bat, Feliz has settled into a remarkably consistent pattern of offensive results.
2006: .709 OPS
2007: .708 OPS
2008: .705 OPS
2009: .706 OPS
That’s hard to do. Feliz’s skills have shifted around from year to year more than those numbers would suggest – he makes better contact than he used to, but his power has disappeared since May – but the overall effect has been about the same. As one pat of his game improves, something else declies in proportion, leaving him the same guy he was the year before. Literally.
One of the other interesting things about Feliz is his consistently low BABIP. This year, he’s running a .293 mark, around average for a normal player but 20 points above his career mark. His BABIPs the last four years – .273, .267, .259, and .258. In pretty much any given year, you could sort the leaderboard and find Feliz at the bottom.
Despie being a good defender, he’s not fast and he doesn’t hit the ball particularly hard. This combination conspires to rob him of hits on pitches most players would be able to capitalize on, which is one of the reasons that his offense usually ends up something less than the sum of his parts. A guy with his contact skills and gap power should be a better hitter, but Feliz has a pretty well established offensive track record by now.
His glove at third base is terrific and certainly justifies keeping him in the line-up on a regular basis. Just don’t expect different results when he’s batting – Feliz defines consistency at the plate.