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Felix Jose

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Domingo Felix Andujar Jose born Domingo Felix Andujar Jose

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 190-220 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

In 2006, Felix Jose played his 23rd season in professional baseball. He has spent 5 years exclusively in the US-based minors, 6 split between the majors and US-based minors, 4 exclusively in the majors, 2 split between the majors and Mexican League, 3 exclusively in the Mexican League, 3 in the Korea Baseball Organization and one in the independent leagues. He had a 103 OPS+ in the majors, topped .340 four times in the minors and .295 three times in the majors. He has hit over 300 career home runs in professional baseball. He made one All-Star team in the majors, won batting titles in three different leagues, led the KBO once in OPS and won MVP honors in Mexico.

[edit] 1984-1987: Rookie League through AA

Jose was signed as a free agent for the Oakland A's by scout Juan Marichal on January 3, 1984 and began his career with the Idaho Falls A's. The 19-year-old did not look like a future star, hitting only .217/~.304/.276 in 45 contests in a relatively high-scoring Pioneer League. In 1985, Felix batted .218/~.274/.286 in 117 games for the Madison Muskies; he had six steals, three homers and 33 walks as he did not do well on any offensive front.

In 1986, the young Dominican began to show some promise. He hit .285/~.332/.440 for the Modesto A's with 8 triples, 14 home runs, 77 runs and 77 RBI. Baseball America rated him the #10 prospect in the California League, tied with Tony Perezchica.

Jose was with the Huntsville Stars in 1987 and sputtered, only hitting .226/~.293/.321 in 91 games.

[edit] 1988-1990: Tacoma and Oakland

Felix spent most of 1988 with the Tacoma Tigers, batting a fine .317/~.383/.465. He drove in 83 runs and stole 16 bases in 24 tries. He ranked 7th in the Pacific Coast League in batting average that year. He earned a September call-up to Oakland and went 2 for 6 with a double and a steal in 8 games for the 1988 Athletics.

In the 1988-1989 Dominican League season, Jose hit .243/~.337/.362 for the Licey Tigers.

Jose returned to Tacoma in 1989 and earned the #5 prospect in the PCL rating from Baseball America despite a seemingly worse season. He hit .287/~.355/.463 and got another brief trial with Oakland, batting .193/.246/.228 in limited action for the 1989 Athletics, en route to their second straight World Series.

In winter ball, he was fourth in the Dominican League in average with a .324/~.422/.439 batting line for Licey.

While the 1990 Athletics had Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Dave Henderson returning, Canseco was moved to DH to make space for Jose in the outfield. Felix hit .264/.306/.370 with the A's that year but when Oakland made their pennant run, they dealt Jose with Stan Royer and Daryl Green for Willie McGee in a trade that was criticized at the time as the rich getting richer; the A's had picked up Harold Baines on the same day.

[edit] 1990-1992: St. Louis; best years in the majors

Jose batted .271/.333/.447 for the 1990 Cardinals. He made the 1990 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The next year, he did even better - he batted .305/.360/.438 with 40 doubles. He stole 20 bases, but was caught 13 times. During April 1991, he hit .354 with 15 RBI and was named NL Player of the Month. He made the 1991 All-Star team and went 1 for 2 after replacing Andre Dawson in right for the NL. He was 5th in the 1991 NL in average and hits (173), posted a 123 OPS+ and was second to Bobby Bonilla in doubles. His 15 outfield assists tied Marquis Grissom for the league lead.

Felix continued to shine with the 1992 Cardinals. He hit .295/.347/.432 for an identical 123 OPS+. He stole 28 bases in 40 tries and hit 14 homers, his most in the majors. He briefly made a couple rehab stints with the St. Petersburg Cardinals and Louisville Redbirds. Though he was coming off two good years, he would never again have sustained success of that level in the majors.

Jose batted .313/?/.509 for Licey in 1992-1993. He lost the Dominican League batting title by five points to Tom Marsh.

[edit] 1993-1995: Kansas City and the blues

Jose was traded in February of 1993 to the Kansas City Royals with Craig Wilson for Gregg Jefferies and Ed Gerald; Jefferies and Jose were the clear principals in the deal. Felix had a miserable season with a 72 OPS+, hitting only .253/.303/.349 while Jefferies was fighting for a batting crown. Jose stole a career-high 31 bases for the 1993 Royals while getting nabbed 13 times but his average and power (6 HR) were major disappointments.

Jose bounced back with a .303/.362/.475 (111 OPS+) year for the 1994 Royals. He was only 10 for 22 in steal attempts; only teammate Greg Gagne was caught stealing more in the 1994 AL. Felix again spent time in the minors on a rehab stint, batting .333/.462/.429 in 6 games with the Memphis Chicks.

Jose did bounce back in the winter with a .348/?/.445 and again just missing a batting title, four points behind Luis Mercedes.

Felix was a free agent after 1994 but no team signed him until mid-April 1995, when Kansas City again picked him up. He went just 4 for 30 with the 1995 Royals and was let go after a month.

The Chicago Cubs signed Jose, but he went only 5 for 37 with the Iowa Cubs and was again let go. Four years after being an All-Star and one year after a .300 season, Jose's career was in the gutter.

[edit] 1996-1998: Wandering the minors

Jose hit .295/?/.395 for Licey in 1995-1996. The Boston Red Sox picked him up as a free agent but he batted .219/~.286/.500 with the Pawtucket Red Sox and was let go after 11 games. The Toronto Blue Jays then signed him and this time, he stuck around for a while. With the Syracuse Chiefs, he produced at a .257/~.323/.459 clip, smacking 18 home runs to lead the club despite getting just 327 AB. Mostly used at DH, he showed he could still hit.

At age 32, Felix would spend the rest of his career primarily bouncing between South Korea and Mexico. In 1997, he joined the Tabasco Olmecas and hit a modest .269/?/.425.

Jose joined the Nashua Pride in 1998 and beat up on the indie leagues. He hit .343/?/.645 with 86 RBI and 72 runs. He won the Atlantic League batting title and tied Kinnis Pledger for second with 26 home runs. He split MVP honors with Pledger and made the All-Star team. Baseball America named him to their independent league All-Star team alongside Sean Hearn and Jay Davis. Davis, like Jose, was about to begin a new career in Korea.

[edit] 1999: South Korea: The first year

Felix signed with the Lotte Giants for 1999 and had a great year, batting .327/~.425/.636 with 93 runs, 36 homers and 122 RBI. He won a KBO Gold Glove in the outfield, joining Dan Rohrmeier as the first foreign players to accomplish that. Jose was second in the KBO in RBI, only one behind leader Seung-yeop Lee, who had just set the league home run and RBI records that year. Jose finished 9th in average, right behind Jay Davis.

[edit] 2000: One last year in the affiliated minor leagues

Felix's work in the KBO earned him another glance from the majors. He signed with the New York Yankees and spent most of the year torching AAA, hitting .310/.379/.567 for the Columbus Clippers. The Yankees gave him a couple call-ups. Used primarily off the bench, he batted .241/.281/.345 in 20 games; he hit .304 when not employed as a pinch-hitter but was 0 for 6 in that difficult role. Jose did not get enough plate appearances to qualify or he would have been 7th in the International League in average and first in slugging.

Jose followed with a huge winter for the Estrellas Orientales, hitting .376/?/.696. He won the Dominican League batting title by 35 points over Desi Wilson and drove in 34 runs, 7 more than David Ortiz. His Triple Crown bid was foiled by Andy Barkett, who edged him 11-8 in home runs. Jose won the MVP award.

[edit] 2001-present: The Korea/Mexico/winter ball shuffle

In 2001, the 36-year-old veteran returned to South Korea and batted .335/.503/.695 for Lotte. He scored 90 runs, drove in 102, smashed 36 home runs and drew 127 walks. He led the KBO in both slugging and OBP in a great year. He was fourth in average. Late in the year, though, he attacked Young-soo Bae and was suspended for the final eight games of the year.

Jose kept on hitting with another fine winter season, hitting .336/?/.643 for Estrellas. He was third in average and tied Eric Byrnes for the home run lead (11, with 143 AB to Byrnes' 174).

Back in Mexico for the first time in five years, Jose hit .383/?/.710 as the DH for the Mexico City Red Devils. He was second to Willie Romero in batting average, tied for third in home runs, led in RBI (102) and won MVP honors. In the playoffs, he hit .452 as Mexico City claimed the pennant. After the season ended, he was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks and hit an impressive .263/.360/.579 for them in 13 games for the 2002 Diamondbacks. The next season, though, he would find himself back in Mexico.

Felix had another power-happy year in the Dominican League. He hit .264/?/.516 for Estrellas and led the league in home runs (13), RBI (38) and runs (29) during the 2002-2003 season. He won his second MVP award, joining Tony Pena and Rufino Linares as multiple winners.

Returning to the Liga Mexicana for 2003, the old-timer won the batting championship with a .377/?/.629 line. He scored 82 runs, tied for second with Darrell Sherman, hit 19 home runs and drove in 83. He amazingly was left off the All-Star team. Mexico City again won the title with Jose's leadership. Arizona again brought him aboard after the LMB season ended and in his last year in the USA, he again dazzled in limited time, hitting a whopping .333/.500/.556 in 18 games, pinch-hitting in all but two of those appearances with the 2003 Diamondbacks.

Jose only went 2 for 14 with two walks with the 2004 Red Devils and his career appeared to be over once again.

At age 40, though, Felix once again bounced back. Moving to the Oaxaca Warriors, he hit .375/.502/.674 with 30 HR, 113 RBI and 93 walks. He was fifth in the LMB in average, led in OBP (30 points ahead of runner-up Rontrez Johnson), was third in slugging and RBI and led in walks. He was second in OPS behind Jorge Vazquez but again was left off the All-Star team.

Jose returned to South Korea in 2006 with the Lotte Giants for his third time there. He hit .277/.399/.487 with 22 home runs and 84 walks. He was second to Dae-ho Lee in home runs. He returned to Lotte in 2007. About to turn 42, he had trouble getting started and began the year in the minors, but made it back to the Giants by April 13. Jose batted .256/.360/.337 for Lotte in 2007 before being released on June 8. He had been suffering an injury to his Achilles tendon which had slowed him. He was replaced on the roster by Eduardo Rios.

Jose switched leagues with Rios, going to Mexico with the Pericos de Puebla and hit .306/.449/.532 with 15 walks, 13 runs and 13 RBI in 18 games.

In June 2007 Jose was suspended from the Mexican League for 50 games due to a positive steroids test. Jose is blaming the failed test on an injection given to him during treatment of his Achilles injury in Korea. As of July 2007, Jose is playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the non-affiliated Atlantic League. [1]

[edit] Career Statistics

Jose hit .280/.334/.409 in 747 games in the majors for a 103 OPS+. In winter ball, he has hit .288 for Estrellas through 2007 and .284 for Licey, putting him on each team's top 10 career leaderboard in average. He hit .309/~.440/.586 in 371 games in the KBO.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Quotes

"He took a lot of pressure off a lot of people. Felix has made our lineup a lot more legitimate. He's been very impressive."-Joe Torre

[edit] Sources

1985, 1989, 1995, 2005 and 2006 Baseball Guides, 1986-1987 Baseball America Statistics Reports, 1988-2007 Baseball Almanacs, Korea Times article on major incidents in the KBO, Felix Jose's KBO page

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