FRANCISCO DIAZ
CATCHER
  Born: March 21, 1990
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 158
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Signed: International Free Agent, 2006 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Rule 5 Draft, Minor League Phase
Country: Venezuela
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates selected Diaz from the Phillies in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.  He was still young, only 21 when they selected him, and didn’t have a lot of pro experience yet.  He has modest hitting ability with limited power, although his eye at the plate appears is good.  Diaz is a good receiver with a good arm.  He’d thrown out 40% of opposing base stealers when he joined the organization.  He hasn’t thrown out as many since, but the Pirates haven’t, at least prior to 2013, put a lot of emphasis on their young pitchers holding runners.

2007
VSL:  234/262/297, 158 AB, 8 2B, 1 3B, 6 BB, 25 K, 3-4 SB

Diaz hit very little in his VSL debut, with no power or walks.

2008
VSL:  289/369/369, 187 AB, 9 2B, 3 3B, 22 BB, 22 K, 8-15 SB

Had a much better season, due in part to dramatic improvement in his plate discipline.  He threw out 55% and had only two passed balls in 37 games.

2009
R:  222/323/222, 54 AB, 8 BB, 11 K
A+:  167/444/167, 6 AB, 3 BB

Diaz got only limited playing time in the GCL, as he divided time with two other catchers.  He didn’t hit when he played.

2010
R:  307/376/387, 75 AB, 6 2B, 9 BB, 9 K, 1-1 SB

Diaz returned to rookie ball and hit a lot better, although still with no power.  He threw out 41% and again had only two passed balls, but he still played less than half the time.

2011
A-:  211/315/257, 109 AB, 5 2B, 16 BB, 19 K, 3-4 SB

Did about half the catching in the NYPL and struggled at the plate, except that the good walk and K rates continued.

2012
A:  302/388/397, 126 AB, 9 2B, 1 HR, 17 BB, 31 K, 0-1 SB
A+:  167/211/167, 36 AB, 2 BB, 14 K, 0-1 SB

Diaz opened 2012 as the backup catcher at Bradenton, but he moved down to West Virginia once Kawika Emsley-Pai recovered from a wrist problem.  He hit surprisingly well with the Power, but the backup catcher/small sample size caveat applies.  It did get him more playing time, though; after he hit .423 in July, he roughly shared the catching job with the struggling Elias Diaz.  While with West Virginia he threw out 21% of base runners.

2013
A:  255/348/335, 212 AB, 12 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 28 BB, 35 K 

Diaz opened the season at West Virginia, backing up Wyatt Mathisen, but ended up sharing the position with Kawika Emsley-Pai when Mathisen got hurt.  Diaz had a decent season at the plate, drawing a lot of walks and hitting for an OK average.  He threw out 31% of base stealers.

2014
A:  209/270/304, 148 AB, 9 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 BB, 28 K, 1-1 SB

Diaz was a free agent after the 2013 season but re-signed with the Pirates.  He returned to West Virginia as a backup to Reese McGuire, although Kawika Emsley-Pai eventually assumed most of the backup duties.  Diaz ended up playing a little less behind the plate than in left field on a team beset with injuries to its outfielders.  Diaz’ hitting fell off from the previous year.  He did throw out 43% of base stealers in his limited time at catcher.

Diaz will be a free agent again after the season.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
July 2, 2006: Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an international free agent.
December 8, 2011: Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 15, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.