Feliz selected for Futures Game
Rangers righty prospect to play for World squad
ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Neftali Feliz, the 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic who can throw 98 mph, will represent the Rangers on the World team at the Futures Game next month in St. Louis.
Feliz, currently at Triple-A Oklahoma City, is the only player from the Rangers' talent-rich system who was picked for the annual showcase. First baseman Justin Smoak, who is at Double-A Frisco, was likely not picked because of strained oblique muscle.The 11th annual XM All-Star Futures Game, pitting the best Minor League prospects from the United States against the best from the rest of the World, will be held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on All-Star Sunday, July 12, at 1 p.m. CT. MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, which can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on Gameday. Feliz was ranked No. 9 in MiLB.com's top 50 Minor League prospects before the season started. The hardest thrower in the Rangers system, Feliz is 3-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts for Oklahoma City. In 60 2/3 innings, he has allowed 59 hits, walked 27 and struck out 55. On Wednesday, the Rangers announced that Feliz was being moved to the bullpen. General manager Jon Daniels said he could still be a starter down the road but the Rangers want to see if he can be an option in the bullpen at some point this season for the Major League team. Feliz, who went 10-6 with a 2.52 ERA with 153 strikeouts in 127 innings in 27 starts at Class A Clinton and Frisco in 2008, was one of five players acquired from the Braves at the 2007 Trade Deadline for first baseman Mark Teixeira and pitcher Ron Mahay. Three other players in the deal are already at the Major League level: shortstop Elvis Andrus, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and pitcher Matt Harrison.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.