The latest edition of our prospect check-in’s brings us to the Milwaukee Brewers #5 prospect, Carolina Mudcats middle infielder Isan Diaz. Diaz is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 57th best prospect in all of baseball.
Isan Diaz came to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jean Segura trade with Arizona prior to the 2016 season. In his first season with his new franchise, Diaz was the Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .264 with 20 home runs in Low-A Wisconsin. This year, he’s lived up to the hype for the most part, but has struggled lately.
Through the first two months Diaz owns a .241/.326/.440 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs. He leads the Mudcats in both HR’s and RBI’s. He has just three hits in his last 34 at-bats, which has dropped his average from .270 to .241. The nine home runs are a welcome sight as he’s still flashing power, but the strikeouts may be a long term concern.
Last season, Diaz struck out 148 times in 135 games. This year, he already has 56 strikeouts in only 52 games which has him at a similar pace. His 24 walks, however, lead to Diaz’s .326 On-base percentage.
The left-handed Diaz is actually hitting incredibly well against lefty pitching, which is surprising to be honest. Diaz is hitting .324/.390/.514 against lefties in 74 at-bats including three of his nine homers. But against right-handed pitchers, Diaz has 117 at-bats and owns a .188/.288/.393 line with 35 strikeouts. Normally left-handed pitchers are better at getting lefty hitters out. That is clearly not the case with Diaz.
What Does The Future Hold For Isan Diaz?
As for Diaz’s future, he projects more as a second baseman than a shortstop. He doesn’t have the range, arm strength, or speed that is required of a Major League shortstop. He can develop into the rare power-hitting middle infielder that not many teams possess.
Diaz will be a middle-of-the-order type hitter and be able to drive the ball all over the field. He can draw walks just as well. Diaz lead the Midwest League in walks last year and has already managed 24 free passes this season.
Diaz is only 21 years old and is a few years away from making an impact with the Milwaukee Brewers. However, there may be a spot waiting for him if Jonathan Villar continues to struggle.
There’s no reason to believe Diaz can’t get his bat going again. Don’t be surprised if he heats up this month. Diaz wasn’t just a one-year wonder at Wisconsin. He’s already almost halfway to reaching his 2016 home run total and he will likely surpass it soon enough.