Diaz was added to the Marlins' 40-man roster Wednesday, Andersen Pickard of MLBDailyDish.com reports.
The Marlins traded for their first baseman of the future when they sent three players, most notably Sergio Romo, to the Twins in exchange for Diaz at the deadline. He is a good defender with plus power and a solid strikeout rate (19.1 K% at Double-A). Look for Diaz to go to Triple-A with a chance to earn a midseason promotion to the big leagues.
Diaz was targeted by the Marlins in the Sergio Romo trade as their analytics department had identified him as the only hitter in Double-A with a strikeout rate below 17 percent and a hard-hit rate (exit velocity of 95 mph or higher) of 45 percent or better, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports.
The 22-year-old isn't a highly touted prospect but he's had a breakout campaign, slashing .302/.341/.587 with six homers in 33 games since his promotion to Double-A Pensacola in the Twins' organization after posting a .290/.333/.533 line at High-A. It remains to be seen what the Marlins' plans are for Diaz, but given their lack of options at first base, a 2020 big-league debut isn't out of the question if he keeps raking in the high minors.
Diaz was acquired by the Marlins from the Twins on Saturday for Sergio Romo, minor-league pitcher Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports.
Diaz began the season at High-A and had an .866 OPS in 57 games to earn a promotion to Double-A, where he has a .950 OPS through his first 32 contests. The Marlins think very highly of the 22-year-old first baseman, considering that they parted with two minor-leaguers plus Romo to acquire him.
Diaz is hitting .316 with eight home runs and a .906 OPS at High-A Fort Myers.
He's a little old for his competition at age 22, but he's mastering a level he struggled at last year (.599 OPS last year) after promotion and before a thumb injury ended his season in July. He could advance rapidly if he continues to display his improved power (.240 ISO).
Diaz went 4-for-5 with a double in Thursday's Opening Day win for High-A Fort Myers.
It was Diaz's first game since breaking his right thumb in late July. After hitting .292 with 12 home runs and a .773 OPS with Low-A Cedar Rapids in 2017, Diaz struggled at High-A by hitting just .224 with six home runs and a .599 OPS last year before the injury.
Diaz underwent surgery on his fractured right thumb and should return to swinging the bat in six-to-eight weeks, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Diaz broke his right thumb in late July. After hitting .292 with 12 home runs and a .773 OPS with Low-A Cedar Rapids in 2017, Diaz has struggled at High-A by hitting just .224 with six home runs and a .599 OPS.
Diaz, 20, is slashing .271/.313/.455 with eight home runs and 39 RBI through 66 games for Low-A Cedar Rapids.
Diaz also has 21 doubles in 2017, and the Twins are hoping that some of those doubles turn into home runs as he matures and fills out. Diaz is not very patient at the dish, though he doesn't strike out a ton either. He remains a work in progress, but the Twinkies are excited about Diaz's power potential from the left side.
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2017||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||122||466||47||136||33||1||12||68||25||80||2||1||.329||.444||.292|