The Detroit Tigers grabbed another catcher this off-season, selecting Mario Feliciano off of waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers on December 21, 2022. He joins Eric Haase and Jake Rogers as the catchers for the Tigers in 2023.
Feliciano was drafted by the Brewers with pick #75 in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. The 24-year-old Feliciano played in 2022 with Milwaukee and the Nashville Sounds. With Milwaukee, he had one hit in two games. With Nashville, he hit six home runs, drove in 38 runs, had 78 hits, and finished with a .274 batting average.
The question is where Feliciano fits into the Tiger's plans in the 2023 season.
Haase is the starter and Rogers is the backup. Feliciano maybe with the Tigers on opening day due to the fact that Rogers had Tommy John surgery this offseason and may not be ready for opening day.
The Tigers may designate Rogers to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens to get his timing and strength down after such a major surgery. If Feliciano is to start the year with the Mud Hens, he may be up with the Tigers at some point if Rogers starts feeling the aftereffects of the surgery and needs to be placed on the IL.
Feliciano is not going to be an all-star catcher with stats that lead the league. He will be a responsible catcher who will call a good game and play sound, defensive catcher behind the plate. He will be a good insurance plan if Haase or Rogers goes down. If Feliciano stays the entire season in Toledo, He will likely be the starter and contribute some offense. He is a contact hitter that has a decent average but is not a big power hitter.
Feliciano was a big prospect with the Brewers, so he does have talent. He is still young enough to supply the Tigers with catching depth for the next century. He is versatile, dependable, and can be an asset to both the Tigers and Mud Hens. Could be a sneaky good pickup for Detroit.