The Marlins optioned Diaz to Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday, Andre Fernandez of The Athletic reports. One of the top infield prospects in the organization, Diaz is likely to reach the majors at some point in 2019, but cracking the Opening Day roster was always going to be an uphill battle. He'll first need to improve upon the lackluster .204/.281/.358 slash line he supplied during his first stint at New Orleans last season before getting a look in Miami.
Diaz had his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins added Diaz to their 40-man roster in order to protect the 22-year-old from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Diaz didn't exactly impress at Double- or Triple-A in 2018, hitting a combined .232/.340/.399 across 119 games, but he's a candidate to take over at second base for the Marlins at some point in 2019 with Starlin Castro reportedly on the block.
Diaz was promoted to Triple-A New Orleans on Thursday, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. Over his past eight games with Double-A Jacksonville, Diaz hit .393/.485/.893 with four home runs and 12 RBI. The 22-year-old didn't set the world on fire with Jacksonville, posting a .783 OPS over 83 contests, but he will get an opportunity at the Triple-A level for the first time in his career nonetheless. The infielder will need to improve upon a strikeout rate that has hovered around 26 percent over the past two years, but he brings solid defense and speed (10 stolen bases with Jacksonville) to the table along with a developing bat.
Diaz went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and two runs for Double-A Jacksonville in its 2-1 win over Birmingham on Tuesday. Diaz has recorded back-to-back three-hit outings, but he's still sitting at a middling .220 average for the season thanks to a miserable April and May. The infielder's sizzling start to June offers hope that he may be starting to find his footing in the Southern League, but the 22-year-old will probably need to trim down his 27.2 percent strikeout rate a bit more before enjoying sustainable success.
Diaz (concussion) was reinstated from the minor-league disabled list Friday. Diaz was hit in the helmet by a fastball May 16 and was subsequently placed on the DL with a concussion, but thankfully only needed a little more than a week to recuperate. The 21-year-old has a .194/.325/.336 slash line in 37 games for Double-A Jacksonville this season.
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