By Norman Homers
In all sincerity, Neftali Feliz or as I call him, NetFlix (it doesn’t really work, but just go with it), is one of my favorite players in fantasy baseball. I’ve been a Feliz supporter for two years and loved every second of it. It’s not often that a young flame thrower with that much talent enters the majors.
Going into 2011 drafts, I’ve heard arguments that Feliz isn’t worth his draft position because he may be moved into the starting rotation. I find serious flaws in that logic. Their argument is he’s not worth his draft position because:
1. If you draft him as a closer where he’s currently being drafted, then he’s less of a lock than the other closers in that range (Jonathan Papebon, Jose Valverde, Francisco Rodriguez).
2. If you draft him as a starter where he’s currently being drafted then he’s not as good as the other starters in that range (Shaun Marcum, Max Scherzer, Roy Oswalt, Matt Garza, Colby Lewis).
His Mock Draft Central ADP is 111.
That would mean if you drafted him as a closer, then he would need to keep the role and out produce those closers in his draft vicinity (Papebon, Valverde, Rodriguez). If Feliz remains the closer (which I think he will) then he will have no problem having a better fantasy season than the closers in his draft range.
If you think he will be converted to a starter then he would need to perform in the class of Marcum, Scherzer, Oswalt, Garza, or Lewis. While Feliz might not rack up the innings of a Marcum, Oswalt, or Garza, as a starter, his ratios will be equal if not better with significantly more upside than those established pitchers.
So don’t let people talk you out of Neftali Feliz in 2011 because of his ADP. Great things are in store for the Texas flamethrower, I call Netflix.