The month of June has been a very good one for Baltimore Orioles outfield prospect, Yusniel Diaz.
Bowie Baysox (AA) outfielder and Baltimore Orioles fourth ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Yusniel Diaz, is having quite a month this June. Recently named the Eastern League’s Player of the Week, Diaz has not chosen to sit on his laurels; in fact the opposite has occurred.
Entering Bowie’s game with the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado affiliate) on Monday, Diaz is swinging a very hot bat, “en fuego”, if you will. The native of Havana, Cuba and centerpiece of the 2018 trade of Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Diaz is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak that has seen him hit .353/ .421/ .794 with an OPS of 1.215 in 34 at-bats. He has hit three doubles and 4 home runs with 16 RBI in that time span as well.
That eight-game span was interrupted by a stint on the Temporarily Inactive List for paternity leave; talk about a good month. Player of the Week followed by becoming a new dad followed by an eight-game hitting streak; Diaz is undoubtedly having a monster month.
Diaz’s recent success is significant when considering all the 22 year-old has endured in 2019. Brought to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, Diaz hit .306/ .316/ .472 in 15 games with one home run and seven RBI’s. Despite the solid performance, he was optioned to Bowie rather than Triple-A Norfolk to begin the 2019 campaign.
He started out hitting .225/ .313/ .338 in 20 games for the Baysox before being sidelined for about a month with a hamstring injury. Once activated, Diaz was sent to the Frederick Keys (A-Adv.) for a rehab assignment.
Diaz’s rehab was possibly an indicator of what was to come as he hit to a slash line of .273/ .360/.273 with two RBI’s in six games in the Carolina League.
Since returning to Bowie on June 5th, Diaz has produced at a .271/ .333/ .559 pace with three doubles, one triple, four home runs and 18 RBI’s in 14 games.
The numbers show that Diaz has improved as the 2019 season has progressed despite his injury setback. This is significant as it validates his inclusion in the trade that marked the beginning of a rebuild in Baltimore. The Baltimore Orioles fanbase has not had much to be positive about recently and Diaz’s reemergence as a bona-fide prospect would change that, especially in light of Machado’s return to Baltimore on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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Diaz’s recent eight-game hot streak has proven he has the ability to swing a hot bat and produce superior numbers, something that is very much needed in Baltimore right now. Should he continue at this pace, Diaz may see himself patrolling the outfield in Norfolk in the not too distant future.