If 21-year-old relief prospect Durbin Feltman lives up to expectations, the bullpen won't be an area of concern much longer for the Red Sox.
Boston's third-round pick of last June's MLB draft has turned heads at camp this spring. In fact, one American League scout even compared Feltman to a three-time All-Star closer after watching him take the mound in a minor-league game Monday.
"He was 94 [mph] with plus downer curveball," the AL scout said, per WEEI. "Good aggressiveness. Arm action not the same, more effort, but the fastball and curveball shape remind me of a young [Mark] Melancon."
The name "Mark Melancon" probably won't excite many Red Sox fans. After all, Melancon's stint with Boston in 2012 couldn't have gone much worse as he posted a career-high ERA of 6.20 in 41 appearances.
But other than that one nightmare season, Melancon's 10-year career has mostly been a successful one. He had a 1.80 ERA and 147 saves in his first four seasons after leaving Boston.
Feltman has a long way to go to make the big-league club, never mind become an All-Star closer for the Red Sox. The TCU product has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game and hasn't thrown a pitch above the Single-A Salem level. Still, the No. 12 ranked prospect in the Sox' system could be counted on to pitch some big innings down the line if Boston's current bullpen plan falls apart.
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