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Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL PROSPECT WATCH: YUSNIEL DIAZ OUTFIELDER BALTIMORE ORIOLES

When it comes to the blockbuster trades leading up to and on the July 31 deadline, more often then not the main  MLB player that gets moved is swapped in exchange for a top or moderate prospect from the opposing team's farm system.  The just-completed Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers deal was no different as L.A. surrendered five prospects to the Baltimore Orioles; with the most prominent being slugging outfielder Yusneil Diaz.  Fresh off slugging two home runs in the Futures Game, Diaz now has a chance to be a possible September call-up by the Orioles and certainly a guy who will be heavily considered for the team next spring training given his already impressive bat.  As he heads to Baltimore, Diaz takes with him the following numbers at Double-A this season:

.314
6 HR
30 RBI
36 R
8 SB
15.5 BB/9
14.8 K/9

While the offensive numbers don't jump off the page, keep in mind Diaz is just 21 and his advanced numbers suggest potency to come as his walk and strikeout rates are already superb.  Keep in mind that one of the better indicators in terms of how a minor league hitter will be able to adjust to MLB pitching is their ability to draw walks (thus controlling the strike zone), while also being able to maintain a high contact  rate.  Diaz already has both skills down and his power will only increase from here as he fills out physically.  Throw in some decent stolen base speed and Diaz clearly knows what he is doing with a bat in his hands.  So while Diaz may not be of much use for 2018 fantasy baseball, the fact of the matter is that he should be able to make his presence felt in 2019 if he continues down this path.


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