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Saturday, December 2, 2017

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE SEASON TRADES: BLUE JAYS BUY LOW ON ALEDMYS DIAZ

In a performance that shocked everyone in the fantasy baseball community and likely the St. Louis Cardinals organization itself, shortstop Aledmys Diaz opened a slew of eyes by batting .300 with 17 home runs as a rookie in 2016 out of the clear blue.  Expected to be a placeholder until the injured Jhonny Peralta returned, Diaz began hitting in April and never stopped as he even garnered some NL Rookie of the Year attention.  Unfortunately the sophomore slump hit Diaz hard last season as he hit just .260 with 7 home runs in 71 games; a performance that ultimately resulted in a demotion back to Triple-A.  What also became a surprise was how Diaz never returned to the majors after his early June demotion; which possibly speaks to how the Cards didn’t view him as a big part of the team’s plans moving forward.  They were never move clear on this line of thinking than when they traded Diaz to the Toronto Blue Jays this past December.  Now with regards to the statistical plummet Diaz experienced last season, look no further than the fact he was much less patient at the dish.  After posting a solid 8.9 BB/9 in his 2016 breakout, Diaz dipped badly to just a 4.5 mark last season which put a hurt on the batting average.  In addition, the fortunate .312 BABIP Diaz received in 2016 took a tumble down to an unfortunate .283 a year ago.  While Diaz remained an excellent contact hitter overall (just a 14.2 K/9), his complete inability to steal bases stands out at the middle infield positions since you want to get impactful totals at those spots.  Now in terms of 2018, Diaz will get a much-needed fresh start in Toronto and Rogers Center alone is enough to get any hitter some extra attention on draft day.  We have seen evidence in the recent past that Diaz can be a help with the bat in terms of fantasy baseball and so he should be considered a worthwhile late grab in drafts this spring.    

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