Saturday, February 9, 2013
Meet A Prospect : Matt Diaz
Matthew Edward Diaz was born March 3rd, 1978 in Portland, OR but spent most of his childhood growing up in Lakeland, FL. While in Lakeland Matt attended Sante Fe Catholic High School until his college days where he attended Florida State University. A right handed outfielder standing at 6'0" and weighing in at 215 lbs I'd like to introduce you to one of the newest New York Yankees.
While Matt was at college for FSU as a two year starter he helped lead his team to two College World Series appearances including the title game against the University of Miami in 1999. He was named the Sporting News Man of the Year in 1998 and a First Team All American in 1999. The then Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted Matt in the 17th round of the 1999 MLB First Year Players Draft and spent parts of the next seven seasons in the Rays minor league system. After struggling for parts of two years in the Majors with the Rays Matt found him released by Tampa and signing a one year deal as back up for the Kansas City Royals.
Matt would finally find a stable and consistent home when the Atlanta Braves scooped him up in a trade before the 2006 season. Matt would spend the next four seasons with Atlanta including his ten consecutive hit explosion in 2006, tying a National League record. Diaz signed a two year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 2011 season but was ultimately traded back to Atlanta in August of the same season for a player to be named later. Diaz would stay in Atlanta until his thumb surgery in August of 2012 would cause him to miss the rest of the season. Now Matt has signed a one year minor league deal with the Yankees with an invite to Spring Training this season and has a great opportunity to make the big league club.
Matt Diaz has a lovely wife and three kids, Nathan, Anna, and Matthew Jr keeping him motivated. He also has a great organization that I fully support in the Diaz Family Foundation which was set up to help orphans and disadvantaged children in Polk County, Florida and around the world. Follow Matt on twitter and keep up with his foundation @diazfoundation. Welcome to the club Matt!!