A couple days ago, we reported about how Keith Law of ESPN was stoking the flames of debate over who should start in center field between Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson. Law’s not all bad, though, and recently he did talk about some of the younger players the Dodgers have in their system.
Among the players that Law talked about was Yusniel Diaz, whom the Dodgers paid $15 million to acquire this offseason. Law seemed to give glowing praise to Diaz, and it was quite impressive to hear an industry insider give his thoughts on someone that the team has high hopes on for the future.
Diaz looks highly athletic, with quick-twitch actions and good running speed, and a swing that looks geared for all-fields contact right now rather than big power.
As Law notes in the article, Diaz got to face Chicago White Sox ace and left-hander Chris Sale. In the two at-bats that Diaz faced Sale, Law says that Diaz “showed tremendous bat speed.” The evidence of that? Seeing a 91 to 93 mile per hour fastball that was on the outer half and lining it over the second baseman.
Law definitely seems impressed with Diaz, and you can sort of understand why. Diaz is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder who is very athletic and can hit. Those are the types of players that teams are going after these days, and it’s one that the Dodgers seem to have hit on at least for the time being.
There’s no telling what Diaz could eventually turn into if (or when) he makes the majors, but the fact that he looked good against an elite starting pitcher does bode well for him in the development department. Diaz profiles as a center fielder, but he can also play the corner spots if needed.