14. Danny Diaz
Danny Diaz is the other big international signing the Red Sox got with the Antoni and Daniel Flores. The third baseman took the field for the Red Sox organization for the first time this season – appearing in 26 games in the Dominican Summer League.
Diaz is listed at 6’1″, 170 lbs and with his young age (17) he still has time to grow and fill out his frame. This bodes well as he’s already looking like a power hitter.
In the 26 games this year, the right-handed hitter had a .238 batting average. While that’s not a great number, there’s clearly something in his swing. That’s evident by the seven doubles and six home runs he mashed in 105 at-bats.
The power isn’t surprising, as that was a big part of Diaz’s game when he was originally scouted. It’s great to see it already translating to his game, and it’s bringing with it a lot of RBI. Diaz drove in an impressive 27 runs in that short amount of time.
The bat isn’t really a question though. There’s clearly a jolt in his swing that should continue to improve. He has the ability to hit for both average and plus-power. Diaz also isn’t fast by any definition, but he’s not exactly slow. Although, as he matures and puts on more weight/muscle that could change.
At third base, Diaz is projected to be solid as well. He’s got a strong arm and solid footwork at the position. Time will tell if he can put it together. At such a young age with raw potential, this could be the biggest gap between ceiling and floor.
By that I mean his speed isn’t going to become a major factor, while his bat is already producing and progressing. So the ceiling for his speed isn’t too high, but the floor for his bat isn’t low.
The strong arm gives him a nice start, but if the rest of his game doesn’t progress, he could be a below-average defender. That being said, if everything comes together Diaz could turn into a fantastic third baseman. There’s a lot of in-between at the moment.
Diaz is still just 17 so although he’s at a loaded position for the Red Sox, there’s plenty of time for things to play out. He could take up a new position (already has experience at shortstop), but third seems perfect for him. Things could also change for the pecking order in front of him. Either way, at such a young age and with so little experience at the professional level, there’s no reason to worry about his “situation” just yet.
For the time being, just enjoy watching him develop through the minor leagues.