Diaz was drafted from high school by the Diamondbacks in 2014’s Comp Round, and is now on his third organization after being involved in a pair of trades. Arizona dealt him and other prospects to the Brewers for SS Jean Segura in 2016, and Diaz was traded again in the deal that sent OF Christian Yelich from Miami to Milwaukee this off-season. I saw him over a series in July, after numerous 2017 viewings when Diaz was still a Brewers farmhand.
Diaz is a patient hitter who takes walks and works deep into counts. This also leads to some strikeouts, as seeing pitches ultimately leads to more two-strike situations. He doesn’t shorten up when behind and shows fringy contact ability versus spin, things that also contribute to the present whiffs. Diaz projects as a future 45-grade hit tool for me, one who could add to that grade only if he sacrificed some of his game power. He has juice in the bat for a smaller player, with 45-grade raw power that shows up to the pullside and sprays the gaps with hard contact. The game power projects to 45, meaning Diaz shows the upside of a 12-15 HR bat with plenty of doubles. Defensively, Diaz is limited to second base because of a below-average arm, but his actions and glovework at the keystone grade above-average. He ranges well to the hole and shows soft hands. Average speed rounds out the profile; though he isn’t a burner, Diaz has the timing and baserunning instincts to swipe the occasional base.
An instinctual player who plays hard and with fire, Diaz grows on you over multiple looks. He’s the type of player that backs up a solid toolset with an awareness of the little things–finishing plays defensively, taking an extra base, or showing situational awareness and feel at the plate. The sum-of-the-parts gives a FV 50 ceiling, an everyday regular at second base. Diaz is close to big league ready, only needing to develop more of a two-strike approach before being able to contribute to a rebuilding Marlins club.