Elias Diaz
Elias Diaz
28-Year-Old CatcherC
Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Despite playing in just 82 games while serving primarily as a backup to Francisco Cervelli, Diaz was a top-20 earner at the catcher position. It was a big improvement on his previous season -- Diaz walked more (7.6%) and shaved nearly five percentage points off his strikeout rate while adding more than 10 percentage points to his hard-hit rate. With that, his power numbers and batting average improved dramatically. Statcast suggests the numbers could have been even better given the quality of his approach and contact. Diaz uses the whole field well (just a 37.7 Pull%), and while there's little in his track record to suggest this level of power is sustainable, catchers typically take longer to develop offensively, so who knows? Cervelli has another year left on his deal and will presumably remain the starter, but Cervelli has dealt with a variety of injuries. Even in a backup role, Diaz has appeal as a low-cost catching option. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#462
ADP
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Pirates in March of 2018.
Reinstated from injured list
CPittsburgh Pirates
April 21, 2019
Diaz (illness) was reinstated from the injured list Sunday.
ANALYSIS
A viral infection stole all of Diaz's spring training and forced him to spend the first few weeks of the season getting up to speed on a rehab assignment. He looks to be good to go after hitting .412 in nine minor-league games. He'll take the backup catcher job behind Francisco Cervelli, with Jacob Stallings (neck) heading to the 10-day injured list in a corresponding move.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+27%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .824 131 18 4 15 1 .315 .336 .488
Since 2017vs Right .652 346 33 7 38 0 .236 .298 .355
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .925 84 15 4 9 0 .346 .369 .556
2018vs Right .730 193 18 6 25 0 .257 .326 .404
2017vs Left .646 47 3 0 6 1 .261 .277 .370
2017vs Right .557 153 15 1 13 0 .211 .261 .296
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+25%
OPS on Road
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+24%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+17%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .619 228 20 3 17 0 .239 .298 .321
Since 2017Away .776 249 31 8 36 1 .277 .317 .459
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home .694 120 12 3 9 0 .257 .342 .352
2018Away .861 157 21 7 25 0 .306 .338 .524
2017Home .538 108 8 0 8 0 .221 .250 .288
2017Away .628 92 10 1 11 1 .226 .283 .345
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
After appearing for a sip of latte each of the past two seasons, Diaz received extended playing time in 2017 as regular catcher Francisco Cervelli endured an injury-riddled season. Diaz began the season with Triple-A Indianapolis before being recalled May 1. He'd ride the Pitt-Indy shuffle three more times before being called up for good on Aug. 28. Diaz makes good contact, sporting a strikeout rate in the mid-teens throughout his minor-league career, whiffing at a 19 percent clip last season in 200 plate appearances with the Pirates. Unfortunately, with little power and even less speed, Diaz doesn't take advantage of the balls he puts in play, slugging just .314 with a .091 ISO. Considering Diaz's defense is nothing special, his career path looks to be that of a backup receiver. However, with the fragile Cervelli back for the Bucs, Diaz could be pressed into action again in 2018.
Diaz missed a golden opportunity to make an impact in 2016 as he instead made two separate trips to the disabled list. First, he underwent elbow surgery in early May and didn't make his minor league season debut until July 4. He then caught one game in Pittsburgh, throwing out a baserunner in late July, before returning to the minors and later developing a season-ending bacterial infection in his leg. Diaz was a defense-first catcher until 2014, when he hit a combined .312 between Double-A and Triple-A. He doesn't hold a ton of power but he could see significant action in the big leagues in 2017 if Francisco Cervelli once again misses time due to injury.
Diaz was unable to follow up a breakout 2014 (.328/.378/.445) in 2015 (.271/.330/.382), but he did advance from Double-A to Triple-A. The 25-year-old made his major league debut in September as catching insurance but appeared in only two games as a pinch-hitter. His stock dropped a bit and 2013 No. 1 draft pick Reese McGuire looms large in the organization’s long-term plans. Still, Diaz threw out 30 percent of baserunners and offers Pittsburgh a solid potential backup to Francisco Cervelli, depending upon fellow catcher Chris Stewart’s plans.
More Fantasy News
Making good progress
CPittsburgh Pirates
Illness
April 13, 2019
Diaz (illness) went 3-for-5 for Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, giving him eight hits in 17 at-bats during his rehab stint split between two minor-league levels.
ANALYSIS
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Moves rehab to Triple-A
CPittsburgh Pirates
Illness
April 9, 2019
Diaz's (illness) rehab assignment was transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
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Rehab assignment on tap
CPittsburgh Pirates
Illness
April 3, 2019
Diaz (illness) will begin a minor-league rehab assignment with High-A Bradenton on Thursday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
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Moves to IL
CPittsburgh Pirates
Illness
March 28, 2019
The Pirates officially placed Diaz (illness) on the 10-day injured list prior to Thursday's game against the Reds.
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Will miss start of season
CPittsburgh Pirates
Illness
March 26, 2019
Diaz (illness) will open the 2019 campaign on the injured list, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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