Friday, January 15, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Jonathan Diaz

The New York Yankees are doing anything and everything they can to prepare for the 2016 season. New York's plan seems to be to have as much depth and insurance as possible in the minor leagues while relying on the farm system, finally, while waiting out these long and bulky contracts that have hampered the organization for so long. In just a couple years the contracts of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and CC Sabathia will be gone and the names of Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will be leading the next Yankees dynasty. That's the plan anyway and the best plans need Plan B and Plan C, one of those PLan B's or Plan C's include the latest minor league signing, Jonathan Diaz.

This is Meet a Prospect: The Jonathan Diaz Edition. Jonathan Diaz was born on April 10, 1985 and spent his High School years at Coral Gables High School. While at Coral Gables Diaz played aside fellow Major League players Yonder Alonso and Eddy Rodriguez who watched Diaz finish his High School career with a strong .323 average in his senior season with six doubles and a home run. Diaz went to NC State to continue his baseball career but struggled in his freshman year. Diaz improved during his sophomore and junior years at NC State and caught the eyes of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th round, 360 overall, in the 2006 MLB Draft.

Diaz was placed at the shortstop position to begin his professional career and spent the 2006-2012 seasons in the minor leagues with varying degrees of success for Toronto. Diaz was never known for his bat but it was his defense that led Toronto to invite him to Spring Training camp in 2011 where he almost made the team as one of the final cuts. Diaz was back with the club in the spring of 2012 as well but was cut after just 23 games despite hitting .405 with seven RBI and nine runs scored. Diaz finished the 2012 season still in the Toronto minor league system and never made the Major Leagues as a member of the Blue Jays.

Diaz moved on from Toronto after the 2012 season and moved to their AL East rival Boston Red Sox after signing a minor league deal on December 16, 2012. Another trip to spring training in 2013 and another late cut and assignment to the minor leagues. Boston did come calling on June 29, 2013 and promoted him to the Major Leagues to make his MLB debut against the team that drafted him, the Toronto Blue Jays. Diaz was called up because Brock Holt and Stephen Drew were injured while Will Middlebrooks was ineligible to get called back up due to the 10 day rule. Diaz lasted until July 6 of that season when Holt was ready to return and Diaz was sent back to Triple-A. 

Diaz returned to Toronto for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and began the 2014 season with the big league club after a Jose Reyes injury gave him the opportunity. Diaz received his 2013 World Series ring during that 2014 season and was up and down between the minor leagues and major leagues before ultimately being designated for assignment. Diaz came back to the team in 2015 to give the team some insurance for Reyes and once again a Reyes injury allowed Diaz a trip back to the Major Leagues. Diaz appeared in just seven games in 2015 and batted .154 with two RBI before hitting free agency once again. 

Diaz will now look to latch on with the New York Yankees during the 2015 season after signing a minor league deal with the club. Diaz will look to win a job in spring training or start the season in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. Welcome to the organization Jonathan and welcome to the family as well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)