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Jesús Feliciano

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Jesus Feliciano
(Motorita)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jesus Feliciano topped .300 in AAA in both 2007-2009 but didn't make the majors any of those seasons. He finally got to the Show in 2010. His father Jesus Feliciano was a two-time Olympic pitcher.

Feliciano was originally picked in the 36th round of the 1997 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a draft-and-follow. He signed in May 1998 and debuted as a pro with the Yakima Bears that summer, hitting .305/~.371/.334. He stole 34 bases in 44 tries in 77 games, finishing 4 steals behind Northwest League leader Juan Pierre. Feliciano led the NWL in at-bats (302), outfield putouts (191) and outfield double plays (3, tied for the lead).

In 1999, Jesus hit .254/~.313/.289 for the Vero Beach Dodgers and he stole 20 bases in 30 tries. He struck out every 10.7 plate appearances, the lowest rate in the Florida State League. He played for the San Bernardino Stampede in 2000 and batted .289/.340/.336, stealing 31 bases while being caught 11 times. He fielded .996, leading California League outfielders.

Feliciano spent 2001 back at Vero Beach and hit .262/.320/.327. He stole 22 bases in 32 tries. He again led his league's outfielders in fielding percentage, this time handling 284 chances without an error. He also struck out every 12.63 plate appearances, second-lowest in the FSL.

Jesus struggled for the 2002 Jacksonville Suns, only batting .237/.281/.265 in 100 games. He hit .300 that winter for the Santurce Crabbers. He began 2003 even worse than he had done in the summer of '02, hitting .148/.255/.185 in 37 games for Jacksonville and earning him a release from the Los Angeles organization.

Signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Feliciano hit .279/.326/.335 in 72 games for the Orlando Rays. He batted .273 that winter for Santurce. In 2004, he hit .204/.242/.258 in 28 games for the Montgomery Biscuits and .303/.348/.378 in 68 contests for the Bakersfield Blaze. He had a 1.69 ERA in five appearances on the mound as well. He was still in high-A ball five years after he had first made it to that level, not a good sign.

In the winter of 2004-2005, Feliciano rejuvenated his career by hitting .425 for Santurce. Had he qualified, he would have led the Puerto Rican League. During the 2005 season, he joined the Washington Senators chain and hit .280/.311/.351 for the Harrisburg Senators, finally solving AA to some degree. He also spent time with the Oaxaca Warriors, hitting .300/.327/.420.

Feliciano represented Puerto Rico in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, in which he was the country's center fielder. He was most impressive in the event, putting up a batting line of .378/.410/.649 with 10 runs and 9 RBI in 9 games. He made no errors in center and had one assist. He went 3-for-3 in steal attempts. Feliciano led Puerto Rico in average and was second in slugging behind Randy Ruiz; he outhit major leaguers Angel Echevarria, Jose Leon, Luis Figueroa and Edwards Guzman. Feliciano tied Rudy Reyes, Alexei Ramirez, Petr Baroch, Ben Zobrist, Jeremy Ware, Carlos Tabares and Masashi Sasaki for 5th in the Cup in steals, 5 behind leader Eduardo Paret. His best game came in a 6-5 win over Nicaragua in which he scored 2 and drove home 3. Feliciano did not make the tourney All-Star team as Danny Rombley, Tiago Magalhães and Freddy Herrera were chosen as the outfielders.

Feliciano struggled with Harrisburg in 2006, hitting .230/.274/.264 in 64 games. He appeared for Puerto Rico in the Americas Olympic Qualifier, he again did well on the international stage, batting .364/.440/.636 with 17 putouts in 5 games in CF, again outhitting major league teammates like Guzman and Leon.

In 2006-2007, Jesus hit .331 for the Lobos de Arecibo, finishing second in the Puerto Rican League in average behind Miguel Negron. In 2007, the veteran moved to the New York Mets system and spent his first full year at AAA. He solved the level quicker than any prior tier, hitting .315/.369/.413 in 90 games for the New Orleans Zephyrs. He returned to New Orleans for 2008 and batted .308/.366/.383; while the Pacific Coast League is a high-octane environment, Feliciano did lead his team's regular position players in average.

In the winter of 2008-2009, the 29-year-old hit .338/.432/.468 with 40 runs in 40 games for Arecibo. He led the Puerto Rican League in runs, was 4th in average, third in hits (52, trailing Luis Matos and Andy Gonzalez), third in OBP and third in walks (24). He was then put on Puerto Rico's provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In the 2009 Caribbean Series, he hit .292/.370/.458 for the Leones de Ponce and was left off the tournament All-Star team despite a significantly better OPS than Selwyn Langaigne, who got the nod in center field. He then returned to the Puerto Rican national team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, where he was the starting left fielder alongside major leaguers Carlos Beltran and Alex Rios.

Feliciano kept it up average-wise in 2009, hitting .311/.348/.382 for the Buffalo Bisons with 30 doubles. He led the 2009 International League with 154 hits and was 5th in average behind Jordan Brown, Don Kelly, Kevin Russo and Jeff Fiorentino.

After starting 2010 with a .385/.426/.481 clip and 38 runs in 53 games with Buffalo, he finally was called to the majors in his 13th pro season. At the time, he was easily leading the 2010 IL in average. He replaced Omir Santos on the 2010 Mets roster. In his MLB debut, he pinch-hit for Henry Blanco with a 4-2 deficit in the 8th and struck out swinging versus Mike Adams.

Feliciano became a coach for the Boise Hawks in 2014.

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