|Born: November 17, 1990
Height: 6′ 1″
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2008
How Acquired: Int. FA
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Diaz fits the template that the Pirates’ current scouting staff seems to prefer for catchers. He’s an athletic guy with a strong arm and at least the potential to be a solid hitter. He also fits the trend of the team’s Latin prospects not spending 2-3 years in the DSL or VSL before they reach the US leagues.
Diaz was the primary catcher on the Pirates’ VSL affiliate, which dominated the league. He hit well considering it was his first season, with solid BB and K numbers. He threw out 45% of opposing base stealers, while also playing a little at first.
Diaz was the primary catcher in the GCL, getting about twice as much playing time as Joey Schoenfeld even though Schoenfeld hit much better. Diaz struggled at bat, with weak plate discipline. His defense was much better, as he threw out 41% of opposing base stealers. The Pirates made it clear that they liked Diaz more than Schoenfeld (who has since been released) and that they think he’ll eventually hit.
The Pirates jumped Diaz up to West Virginia, where he was the regular catcher. He continued to struggle at the plate, with strike zone judgment that was marginal at best. He hit LHPs decently (257/337/378), but couldn’t hit RHPs at all (210/261/313). His best month was August, when he hit 269/310/433, which he followed by going 4-for-10 in September. His CS% dropped to 22% and he had a lot of errors, 16 in 82 games. He’s an aggressive catcher and doesn’t hesitate to try to catch runners off base, so that may have led to some of the errors.
Diaz returned to West Virginia and struggled even more at the plate. He got off to a nightmarish start, hitting .138 in the first two months. Almost all his production, including all his HRs, came in July, when he hit 306/307/514. He threw out 27%.
Diaz will play the 2013 season at 22, which isn’t old for a catching prospect, but he’s not making any progress. The Pirates will send him to Bradenton in 2013. The primary catcher there will be Jacob Stallings, but Diaz is expected to get a fair amount of playing time.
|2013: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2009
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2012
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|2008: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.|