Featherston enjoys whirlwind weekend back in hometown

Angels' Rule 5 selection grew up in Houston

Featherston enjoys whirlwind weekend back in hometown

HOUSTON -- Angels infielder Taylor Featherston was doing an interview in the visitors' dugout of Minute Maid Park on Sunday morning when one of the stadium's security guards interjected.

"Tell him who your favorite chemistry teacher was."

"That guy, right there," Featherston said. "He taught me in high school."

And that's pretty much how this weekend has been for Featherston, who was born and raised in Houston. He slept in his old bedroom, visited his grandparents, got his little brother on the field for batting practice and had over 100 people come see him in this three-game series against the Astros.

He just wishes there were more time.

"It's almost like you just want to press the pause button and kind of just hold on for a second," Featherston said. "Everything goes so fast. The days run together, you're in your routine, and the next thing you know, it's over. So you really, really just want to slow it down, and enjoy every second of it. Because you never know how many you're going to get."

Featherston attended high school about a half-hour away from the old Astrodome, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday. He was such a big Astros fan that longtime broadcaster Bill Brown can be heard in the background of almost all of his home movies.

"It's always a dream in your mind of what it'd be like to play out here," Featherston said. "I always knew it would come true; I just didn't know when."

He got here, at 25 years old, with help from the Rule 5 Draft. The Rockies, deep at shortstop, left Featherston off the 40-man roster at a time when the Angels needed a backup infielder, so they scooped him up in a pre-arranged deal with the Cubs in December.

Featherston entered the season without having played a single game above Double-A, but the Angels loved his defense at shortstop, second base and third, were impressed by his speed and felt his bat could play at this level.

They brought him along slowly, diligently working on footwork and angles prior to every game. And on Friday, with the Angels leading by three in the eighth and David Freese batting for the final time, Angels manager Mike Scioscia finally used Featherston in the late-game-defense role a more seasoned John McDonald carved out last year.

"I'm honestly just taking it day by day and learning," Featherston said. "There's a lot of really good guys in the locker room and clubhouse. A lot of years, a lot of awards, a lot of MVPs. So I just stand out there and watch them work, pick their brain, and do whatever I can to help the team however I can. I'm enjoying it."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.