The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed free agent infielder Anderson Feliz to a minor league deal. He spent 2015 in independent ball for Lancaster of the Atlantic League. The Barnstormers announced his signing on their website this morning. Feliz was playing winter ball in Nicaragua this year and left his team a week ago to meet for a tryout with the Pirates in the Dominican Republic.
Feliz is 23 years old and has played pro ball since 2009, spending his first six seasons in the Yankees’ organization. He topped out at High-A, spending parts of four seasons in the Florida State League. Last year in indy ball, he hit .275/.344/.415 in 92 games. Feliz has spent most of his time at second base, but he’s played all three outfield spots, as well as shortstop and third base.
He had a .694 OPS in 324 games while with the Yankees, showing some ability to get on base at times. He was pushed to full-season ball at age 19 back in 2011 and struggled that year with a low average and high strikeout rate. Feliz stole a career high 16 bases that year, with six homers and 52 walks. Since then, he has been on the disabled list eight times, though it looks like a few may have been paper moves/phantom injuries due to roster space, possibly to add a pitcher due to a tired bullpen.
He looks to be minor league depth, possibly at either Bradenton or Altoona. He will probably be used as a utility player, much like Andy Vasquez, who the Pirates didn’t resign this off-season after nine years in the system.