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Feliciano Providing Return on Investment
Feliciano is on fire for the Bisons
Buffalo Feature Writer
Posted May 25, 2010
BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo Bisons outfielder Jesus Feliciano is in his fourth season with the Mets organization. In his fourth year, Feliciano continues to give the Mets a strong return on their investment. Yet, despite his success with the Mets' Triple-A club, Feliciano has yet to get a taste of New York. While it is a goal of his, Feliciano has not let his Triple-A stay slow him down.
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Reigning Bisons Most Valuable Player
has picked up right where he left off last season in the 2010 campaign.
Feliciano has hit in several spots in the order this season depending on where manager Ken Oberkfell needed the veteran, but he has settled into the leadoff role for the Herd as of late.
Oberkfell joked after Feliciano’s most recent game that he expects at least one hit from the veteran every game.
“He just hits,” Oberkfell said laughing. “I usually call him like a vitamin, you know, one-a-day. But now it’s like two-a-day with him. He just swings the bat. He doesn’t try to do to much.”
Posting an International League-leading .372 average in 133 at-bats, Feliciano is the perfect compliment to some of the power hitters playing in Buffalo. He is able to set the table on a consistent basis because of his team leading .424 on-base percentage which is also good for second in the league.
The 30-year-old outfielder saw his 10-game hitting streak snapped last night, but his ability to get on base has been the spark plug in a host of early offensive attacks for the Bisons.
His success this season is a direct result of his off-season preparation according to Feliciano.
“I’ve been keeping up the same hard work that I’ve done for the past couple years,” Feliciano said. “This year I prepared myself more physically. In the off-season I played winter league and I was working hard on my speed.”
That work has paid off and Feliciano is second on the team with six steals so far this season. Additionally, Feliciano has struck out just 12 times this season
As good as Feliciano has been in his career, he has yet to play a single game at the Major League level. He came to the Mets organization via free agency in the winter of 2007 and has been a model of consistency in the three seasons that have followed. He has posted .300 plus batting averages in each of those seasons but has yet to be rewarded with a call up.
The transition from New Orleans, where played two years during the Mets’ sabbatical to the Pacific Coast League, to Buffalo has been great for Feliciano on the field but it has been a struggle at times getting use to things.
“I kind of liked the Pacific Coast League [when I was with New Orleans],” Feliciano said. “The ballparks and the weather [were great]. But here the front office has been great. This is my second year here and even though this weather is a little tough for me…it was a good time to come to a different team.”
As frustrating as it can be to wait for the call, Feliciano admits he doesn’t think about it much so as to avoid going nuts.
“If I think about [not getting the call for New York] I would drive my head crazy,” Feliciano said. “All I can do is what I’ve been doing the past three years. My mentality is to leave everything on the field. I have to keep positive and keep working and the only thing I can control is what happens on the field.”
Feliciano has really enjoyed playing at home this season. In 67 at-bats at Coca-Cola Field this season, he is hitting .418 and has starred in many Buffalo victories this season.
The way Feliciano plays the game is something that every Mets prospect gets to witness during their time with the Bisons. He approaches the game like a true professional and his leadership abilities are so important not only for him but the rest of the guys in the clubhouse.
“I feel proud to see young guys come to me and ask me questions,” Feliciano said. “I think I’m a good teammate and I try to teach all the young guys. We have a good team chemistry and I think that’s where it comes from.”
Players will continue to come and go from Buffalo this season but Feliciano has made peace with the possibility of staying put.
“I’m going to let God and the Mets organization make the decision,” Feliciano said. “Whenever they need me I’ll be ready for that call.”
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