The Braves signed left-hander Brady Feigl as a non-drafted free agent in November 2013. He had attended Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland but was not drafted. He’s a tall, lanky (6-4, 195 pounds) southpaw who did well in his first professional season.
Feigl started the 2014 season in Rome. He pitched in 25 games and struggled early on, giving up 49 hits in 43.2 innings, with only nine walks and 37 strikeouts. Then when he was promoted to Lynchburg, Feigl did much better. He had an ERA of 2.05 in 13 games, with only 11 hits allowed in 22 innings, four walks and 23 strikeouts.
Feigl’s control was very impressive, as he walked only 13 batters in 65.2 innings. According to an interview Feigl did with Erik Wilson of the Lynchburg broadcast team, he started to pitch to contact more in Rome and that improved his control.
Shoulder surgery his junior season in college cost Feigl a chance at being drafted. He had a torn labrum and was also slowed a bit in his senior campaign, as he posted a 4.50 ERA in nine starts.
Feigl played summer ball and went to a few tryouts in 2013, but it wasn’t until Mount St. Mary’s scout day in October that he caught the eye of Braves scout Gene Kerns.
Feigl reportedly had his fastball in the 90-93 mph range, which was good enough for Kerns to offer Feigl a contract. The returns after the first season were very promising.
Left-handed hitters hit only .207 against Feigl, so that is a positive sign as the Braves are always looking at southpaws who might be situational pitchers. One big thing that is impressive from Feigl’s splits in 2014 is that he didn’t get tired. Feigl was even better in July (2.16 ERA in eight games) and in August (1.89 ERA in nine games). That’s a good sign for a pitcher with shoulder history that was in his first professional season.
Feigl just turned 24, and he’ll have a chance to win a job in Double-A Mississippi for the 2015 season. The Braves might send him back to High-A Carolina to start the season, since he had only 13 games there last season. But at his age, they may not be opposed to Feigl winning a job at the next level to see how he can do if tested in the Southern League.
This was an under-the-radar sign by the Braves, and they’ve been successful recently with non-drafted free agents (Brandon Beachy and Ian Thomas come to mind immediately). If Feigl continues to develop and does well against lefty hitters, the Braves might have found a very serviceable piece for the future bullpen.
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Prospect Report: Brady Feigl
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