JUAN DIAZ, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: December 10, 1986
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 220
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2006 (Mariners)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Despite his size, Diaz is regarded as an average or better defensive shortstop, mainly due to a very strong arm.  He‘s had problems with errors, committing 20+ in most seasons.  His teams evidently have thought well of his glove, as he spent little time at other positions until 2015.  At the plate, he mostly struggle until he reached AA, when he started showing decent power.  He’s generally struck out a lot.  Originally a switch hitter, he had severe platoon splits in most years, which probably led him to start hitting strictly left-handed in early 2014.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2016 and invited him to major league spring training.

In 2016, the Pirates converted Diaz to the mound.

2006
DSL:  191/324/281, 178 AB, 8 2B, 4 3B, 30 BB, 46 K, 4-9 SB
A+:  150/227/250, 20 AB, 1 3B, 2 BB, 8 K

Apart from three games at third, Diaz played short as a 17-year old in his DSL debut.  He drew a lot of walks, but hit very little and had trouble making contact.

2007
A:  228/288/286, 259 AB, 12 2B, 1 HR, 19 BB, 53 K, 2-12 SB
A+:  150/228/250, 20 AB, 1 3B, 2 BB, 8 K

The Mariners jumped Diaz up to low A, where he struggled at the plate.  This wasn’t necessarily a major problem, though, as he was only 18.  He also got into six games in high A.

2008
A:  233/275/306, 451 AB, 16 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 28 BB, 86 K, 6-11 SB

Diaz went back to low A and continued to struggle at the plate.

2009
R:  1.000/1.000/2.000, 3 AB, 1 HR, 1 BB
A+:  311/356/446, 325 AB, 22 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 23 BB, 65 K, 5-7 SB

Diaz spent the season at High Desert in the California League, apart from missing a month and a half with an injury.  He put up his best hitting numbers as a pro, but much of it has to be attributed to him playing in the best hitting park in the best hitting league in the minors.

2010
A+ (Sea):  295/345/433, 254 AB, 8 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 19 BB, 45 K, 8-10 SB
A+ (Cleve):  271/318/326, 218 AB, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 BB, 51 K, 2-4 SB

Seattle sent Diaz back to High Desert, where he continued to hit well.  The Mariners traded him to Cleveland in a deal for Russell Branyan in June.  Having moved to the Carolina League, he didn’t hit nearly as well.

2011
AA:  255/310/368, 522 AB, 24 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 40 BB, 116 K, 9-11 SB

The Indians moved Diaz up to AA, where he hit better than he had anywhere other than High Desert.  The Indians added him to their 40-man roster after the season.

2012
AA:  259/309/423, 371 AB, 24 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 25 BB, 95 K, 1-4 SB
AAA:  306/342/458, 72 AB, 5 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 18 K
MLB:  267/353/267, 15 AB, 1 BB, 5 K

The Indians sent Diaz back to AA and he continued to improve at the plate, showing decent power.  He got a brief callup to the majors in May and spent the last several weeks of the season in AAA.  He continued to play shortstop exclusively.

2013
AAA:  242/317/348, 442 AB, 23 2B, 8 HR, 46 BB, 129 K, 2-3 SB

Diaz spent the season in AAA, where he regressed with the bat.  Among other things, he struck out every three and a half at-bats.  He still played mainly at short, but he started a dozen games at second and seven at third.  Cleveland dropped him from the 40-man roster and he became a free agent after the season, signing with Miami.

2014
AAA: 278/310/418, 464 AB, 27 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 22 BB, 117 K, 5-8 SB

The Marlins sent Diaz to AAA for the whole season.  He hit for average and decent power, but his plate discipline was very poor.  He became a free agent again after the season and signed with the White Sox.

2015
AAA:  272/315/373, 367 AB, 18 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 22 BB, 77 K, 0-2 SB

The White Sox cut Diaz at the beginning of the season and the Marlins signed him a few days later.  He again spent the season in AAA, although this time he played mostly at third, along with a few games each at second and short.  He hit about the same as the previous year, with less power and fewer strikeouts.

2016
R+:  0-0-0, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.0 IP, 6.8 BB/9, 4.5 K/9

Diaz figured to serve as a utility infielder in AAA and played the infield throughout spring training, but the Indianapolis roster was loaded with infield prospects and Diaz didn’t have an assignment at the start of the season.  He stayed in extended spring training all year, then finally surfaced as a relief pitcher in four games for Bristol near the end of the season.

It’s hard to see where this experiment is going, as Diaz will be a free agent again after the season.  If the Pirates see any potential, they could try to re-sign him for 2017.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2016: Minor League Salary
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 5/25/2012
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: 2022
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 18, 2011 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2012, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 0.018
TRANSACTIONS
April 20, 2006: Signed as an international free agent by the Seattle Mariners.
June 26, 2010: Traded by the Seattle Mariners with Ezequiel Carrera to the Cleveland Indians for Russell Branyan.
November 18, 2011: Contract purchased by the Cleveland Indians.
September 1, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians; outrighted to AAA on September 7.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 15, 2013: Signed by the Miami Marlins as a minor league free agent.
November 4, 2014: Became a free agent.
November 20, 2014: Signed by the Chicago White Sox as a minor league free agent.
April 11, 2015: Released by the Chicago White Sox.
April 14, 2015: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Miami Marlins.
November 6, 2015: Became a free agent.
January 4, 2016: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.
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