Feliciano, the Brewers’ 2016 Competitive Balance Round B pick, has a thin, athletic build with room to develop as he matures physically, which will help meet the physical demands of the position.
He’s a line-drive hitter showing limited power that’s manifests mainly to pull side. Feliciano gets steep on the backside of his swing path, which limits his ability to get on plane early to create loft (just three home runs in 308 PA’s). He flattens out through the zone by using good hand-eye coordination with a middle- to opposite-field approach. He stays through pitches middle/away well, making consistent hard contact with extension through the ball, but he is inconsistent handling velo on the inner third as his lengthy load causes him to be late to the heater. When he does get to it, it’s because he is forced to take a shorter path to the ball and reduces his extension – leading to weak contact. Feliciano shows advanced two-strike approach as he widens out and shortens his swing to limit the strikeouts (14.5 K%), and he does show a good eye at the plate, with a .313 OBP despite a .242 batting average.
Feliciano has the makings of an average catcher in the big leagues, but needs consistency. He’s agile behind the plate, showing soft hands and the arm strength is above average (28% CS%), but receiving skills need improvement, lacking consistency at presenting marginal pitches. He blocks balls within the plate area well but will need to improve his lateral movement to reach pitches on the outer margins and reduce the passed balls (eight in 50 games, and seven in 20 games last year in the AZL). His pop times are in the two-second range and he is accurate when the footwork is executed, but the footwork can be plodding at times, causing throws to tail offline.
He’s a 4.44-second runner from home-to-first base, and while not a basestealer, he reads pitchers well and gets good enough jumps to turn the speed he does have into eight stolen bases this year, and once underway his speed is usable on the basepaths.
Still just 18 years old and playing his first full season of pro ball, Feliciano must refine his receiving skills and build more consistency blocking balls. All in, he has moderate risk ceiling of a Role 55, above average backstop, and a floor of Role 45 player. Realistically, he’s got the time to develop physically and defensively, and I see him settling in as a Role 50, average everyday catcher in the big leagues, with the bat being the more prominent tool in the profile.