Diaz will open the year in Double-A Bowie, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports.
Diaz hit .306/.316/.472 with a home run and seven RBI in 36 at-bats in spring training, which apparently wasn't enough to warrant promotion to Triple-A to begin the year. The Cuban outfielder remains the Orioles' top prospect, and as a result likely won't find his way in Bowie for very long.
Diaz went 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored in Thursday's game against the Phillies.
After lining out in his first at-bat, Diaz proceeded to go 3-for-3 with a single and a pair of doubles in his next three trips to the plate. While the youngster is expected to open the year in the minors, he's showing why he's considered one of the team's top prospects thus far in camp, going 7-for-14 with a homer through five spring games.
Diaz headlined the trade package sent to Baltimore for Manny Machado and slashed .285/.392/.449 in 97 games between Double-A Tulsa and Double-A Bowie in 2018. The 22-year-old seems unlikely to make the jump straight to the majors and should be bound for Triple-A Norfolk in 2019, but his major-league debut shouldn't be too far off.
Diaz went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run for Double-A Bowie in its 6-2 win over Richmond on Monday.
After being acquired in July in the trade that sent Manny Machado to the Dodgers, Diaz didn't make a positive impression with his new organization, going just 10-for-55 (.182 average) in his first 16 games with Bowie. The outfielder has been riding a hot bat ever since, however, turning in three multi-hit efforts over his past nine starts while homering three times. Because of his lack of impact tools, Diaz doesn't projected as a multi-category contributor at the game's top level, but his excellent plate approach and impressive bat speed should aid him to high averages and on-base percentages at his peak.
Diaz was shipped to Baltimore as the headliner in a five-player package for Manny Machado on Wednesday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The shift in organizations should give Diaz an easier path to the majors and a friendlier home park when he arrives. The 21-year-old outfield is hitting an excellent .314/.428/.477 with six homers and eight steals in 59 games for Double-A Tulsa, following a similar 31-game stint at the same level last season. He could be on track to reach the majors sometime next season.
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