Brady Feigl, a second-day draft pick by the Oakland A’s in this year’s amateur draft, made a solid first impression on the organization prior to being shut down for the season by an injury.
The former Ole Miss workhorse went to the A’s in the fifth round and he posted a 1.73 ERA over an 11-game span that included eight starts. He posted a 34:8 K:BB rate over 26 innings, allowing five earned runs on 11 hits.
“It’s nice to come in, settle in and have everything click from the beginning because it doesn’t always happen like that,” Feigl said. “They really helped me and made it an easier transition. The conversations I’ve had with Gil (Patterson), (Casey Chavez) and now (Don Schulze) up here … they really helped me calm down and keep doing what I was doing in school. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their guidance.”
Unfortunately for Feigl, his memorable season ended prematurely due to a bout of biceps tendinitis in right throwing arm. He was placed on the Beloit Snappers’ disabled list last week and will also miss the A’s upcoming month-long instructional league in Arizona.
The pitcher cites an excessive workload this season as likely one of the causes of the injury. Feigl threw 91.2 innings this season at Ole Miss and followed that up with 26 more at the professional level, so it stands to reason he may have been shut down soon anyway.
During his time with short-season Vermont and Low-A Beloit, Feigl was limited in his workload and threw in short stints every four to six days.
“I knew it would be lighter and that allowed me to go in there and be free for three innings,” he said. “I didn’t have to worry about turning over a lineup and could attack and have fun for those three innings. Then I got a little time off with a bullpen in between and got ready for the next one.
“In order to have success, the big thing is to not worry about the other guys and what they do, how good they are, stay within myself and trust myself. There will be days where they have your number and you’ll get tagged, but most days as long as you just fill it up and attack the hitters you’ll be OK.”
Feigl says the success he had out of the gate with the Lake Monsters paved the way for what he accomplished with the Snappers.
“My biggest thing was throwing strikes,” he said. “When I was in school doing well, I was in the zone with three pitches and filling up the zone. I attacked hitters. When I was able to do that in Vermont, I had success and that was encouraging. I got confidence that I could pitch at that level. Everywhere I go from here on out, that will be my goal.”
He did plenty of that at both levels. Before being shut down in Beloit, Feigl appeared in three games and allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking just one.
The A’s also went with a hands-off approach to dealing with Feigl upon his arrival in Vermont, which helped to spur his early success.
“For the first 30 days they let me do what I do and get used to pitching up here,” he said. “The biggest thing that they worked with me on was fastball command. Every pen would start off with middle-away, middle-away fastballs and then with a righty up it would be middle-in, middle-in. I’d work three to six inches at a time. It helped me develop that skill.”
The 22-year-old says his playing days in perhaps the toughest conference in college baseball got him ready to take the next step.
“I’ll always say that playing in the SEC is really comparable to playing up here,” he said. “That definitely prepares you. It’s a grind through all 10 weeks. Without that, I don’t think I would have been prepared.
“The guys that Ole Miss did so much to help me mature, off the field and the mental side of things in being ready to take care of your own business once you get to pro ball. There’s nobody here to hold your hand, so you’ve got to figure out how to do it yourself.”
Feigl will remain with his Snappers teammates for the final week of the season, before getting some much-needed rest and heading back to Ole Miss for the offseason to work out with his former teammates and coaches.
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