In his last three pitching appearances for the New Mission baseball team, Marcos Feliz has flashed the upside that is attracting attention from Division 1 programs.
The senior right hander from Roslindale struck out 35 batters across 14⅔ innings and his fastball topped out at a career-high 88 miles per hour.
The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Feliz is small in stature, but New Mission coach Moe Gomez sees a livearm with loads of promise.
“He throws mid-to-high 80s and he’s developed a curveball that is deadly,” said Gomez. “The way he’s progressed physically, there’s a potential for him to even throw harder through training. If he works hard, who knows. He can become a difference maker on the mound.”
After a shaky start, New Mission has won three straight in the Boston City League to improve to 5-6, after clinching a spot in the league’s postseason tournament with a 5-4 win Thursday against O’Bryant. Feliz, a two-year captain, and junior third basemen Christopher Lara have been at the center of the turnaround.
Once his career with the Titans concludes, Feliz will attend Inspiration Academy in Bradenton, Fla for a postgraduate year. The 18-year-old has never lifted weights in his life, but said he is excited to follow the academy’s strict workout regimen, 5 to 6 days per week.
Feliz believes his postgrad year will help his game soar to new heights with increased velocity and garner more attention from Division 1 programs. The University of Miami has already shown interest.
“I know when it comes to Division 1 they don’t play people who don’t hit the gym,” said Feliz. “I feel like if I’m working out the entire year, I’m going to be throwing harder and hitting harder. Everyone keeps telling me if you hit the gym, you’d be committed Division 1 and maybe even get drafted because you already throw and hit so hard.”
Feliz made the New Mission varsity team as a freshman and began taking his development seriously soon after. He joined The BASE in Roxbury, a nonprofit program founded by Robert Lewis that supports inner-city youths and their families through sports and education.
Feliz became a frequent afterschool visitor at The BASE, hitting in the indoor batting cages and taking ground balls on the turf field. He was also part of the program’s AAU team and traveled to Kentucky and Indianapolis for tournaments.
“The BASE is another family,” said Feliz. “They don’t care what race you are, what your skin color is, how much money you have, they’re just a great source to have in your life. Whatever I need, they’re there for me. They’ve reached out to colleges for me and I’m beyond thankful for The BASE for everything they do for me.”
Steph Lewis, the general manager of baseball at The BASE, remembers a 14-year old Feliz, who acted brashly and immaturely. Over the years, Lewis has watched Feliz grow up before his eyes, turning into a mature 18-year old who cares for his teammates and peers.
“As far as baseball he’s always been a phenomenal player but the person has grown exponentially,” said Lewis. “He’s grown to be open and he’s also grown in a leadership role. When he sees his friends aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, he’ll be the first one to call them out and hold them to a standard. If you met him when he was younger, you’d think he was the loud mouth skinny kid. Now he’s the jokester that everyone loves but he’s serious and handles his business.”
In preparation for an important summer on the AAU circuit with the Boston Blue Jays, Feliz is ramping up his baseball activity. Recently, he has been hitting a few nights a week with Boston native Josh Baez, a senior at Dexter Southfield and a projected first-round pick in July’s MLB draft.
Feliz said Baez taught him how to hit an inside pitch and the tips have helped him .hit 350 from the leadoff spot this season in the Boston City League.
In August, he’ll ship off to Bradenton to begin the next chapter of his baseball career. Once he completes his postgrad year, Feliz hopes to stay in Florida. The University of Miami and the University of South Florida are his dream choices for college.
“I’m doing all of this for my grandfather who died three years ago,” said Feliz. “He told me before he died that he wants to see me do well for myself and playing baseball for him is a big reason why I’m still doing it.”
▪ It was quite a week for five-inning no hitters, as Durfee’s Josh Perez threw one against Brockton, North Attleboro’s Dennis Colleran fired one against Foxboro and Abington’s Brady Cristoforo recorded one against Norwell. In addition, Medfield’s Thomas Shurtleff and Liam Milne combined on a four hitless innings, while Austin Prep’s Jake Zawatsky, Charlie Gagnon and Nick Saunders teamed up for a five-inning no-no of their own . . . There were also four one-hitters thrown this week in Eastern Mass: Bedford’s Jake Morrison, Plymouth South’s Adam Maher, Newburyport’s Lucas Stallard and Westport’s Matt Burk . . . Wednesday was the deadline for schools to opt-in to the state tournament. This unique feature for the spring 2021 season allows schools who otherwise wouldn’t qualify through the traditional methods to play in the MIAA tournament.
Games to Watch
Friday, Newburyport at Hamilton-Wenham, 4:45 p.m. — The division leaders in the Cape Ann Conference face off at Patton Park for the only time during the regular season.
Friday, No. 3 Austin Prep at No. 11 BC High, 6 p.m. — The second day of a doubleheader pits a BC High team whose record isn’t indicative of its ability against an Austin Prep team that was recently knocked from atop the Top 20 rankings.
Saturday, No. 3 Austin Prep at No. 12 Bishop Stang, 11 a.m. — The Spartans are the new addition to the Catholic Central League and they’ve started out red-hot. They’ll face their toughest test yet against the Cougars.
Monday, No. 6 Hopkinton at No. 7 Medfield, 3:45 p.m. — The Warriors have a chance to avenge their only blemish this season, when they fell 4-2 to the Hillers on May 10. They’re also the top two teams in the Tri-Valley League.
Tuesday, No. 17 Nauset at St. John Paul II, 4 p.m. — After holding off Barnstable last week, Nauset must clear one more big hurdle for an undefeated regular season in the Cape & Islands League. The Warriors prevailed 10-9 on May 17, which is still the Lions’ only loss this season.
Correspondent Brendan Kurie also contributed to this story.