Yusniel Diaz
23-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Baltimore Orioles AA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There were other prospects involved in the Manny Machado trade, but Diaz is far and away the best player the Orioles got back in the mid-July deal with the Dodgers. The Cuban outfielder's bat is his calling card. He may never hit 30 homers or steal over 10-to-12 bases in a season, but he could be a steady .300 hitter with 20-homer pop. Diaz had more walks (41) than strikeouts (39) and was 52% better than the average Texas League hitter prior to the trade. He struggled mightily after joining his new organization, but rounded into form, hitting .278/.352/.494 with four home runs and a 13:9 K:BB in his final 88 PA in the Eastern League. While many organizations have a logjam in the outfield (the Dodgers certainly did), the Orioles will have no trouble finding an everyday role and a prominent spot in the lineup for Diaz when he is ready. He will head to Triple-A for his age-22 season, and should get called up to the majors this summer if he is performing. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Traded to the Orioles in July of 2018.
Back from injury
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
August 26, 2019
Diaz (quadriceps) was reinstated from the minor-league injured list at Double-A Bowie on Monday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Diaz had been out since the start of August with a sore quad. He'd recorded a solid .258/.331/.465 slash line with 10 homers in 69 games for Bowie prior to the injury.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Yusniel Diaz
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
70 days ago
Jesse Siegel returns to see how things have shaken out for the organizations after the trade deadline, while also checking out an Orioles' prospect who's recently experienced issues staying on the field.
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
126 days ago
Jesse Siegel presents a number of new neophytes, including arguably the best minors prospect in the Rays' Wander Franco.
Farm Futures: Anticipating Callup Dates
217 days ago
James Anderson explains the dirty business of service-time manipulation and provides exact predictions for when the game's top prospects will debut in 2019.
Tout Wars Draft and Hold Recap
217 days ago
James Anderson breaks down his strategy and final roster in his Tout Wars debut.
Farm Futures: Ranking the Rookies
223 days ago
James Anderson reviews the rookies who could make an impact in re-draft leagues, including White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
While Diaz is often lauded for his upside, his top trait is his ability to spray line drives to the outfield gaps, so he may be a bit overrated in some prospect circles. A 6-foot-1, 195-pound high-pedigree Cuban, Diaz looks the part of an athletic, toolsy outfielder. However, he is only an average runner, and doesn’t project to ever steal double-digit bases in an MLB season. His bat speed is impressive, but he doesn’t loft the ball enough to fully capitalize on this strength. A .434 BABIP at Double-A allowed him to finally post a well-above-league-average batting line (149 wRC+), but he also finished with a career-worst 0.34 BB/K against the most advanced pitching he has seen, so it would be misleading to say he unlocked something in the Texas League. Statcast loves the exit velocities he generates with his line-drive approach, but it might be a good time to sell high on a player who may not hit for enough over-the-fence power to project as an everyday corner outfielder.
Diaz's swing and explosiveness out of the box are reminiscent of fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig, but while Puig is a muscle-bound monster of a man, Diaz is a lean 6-foot-1, 195 pounds. He only played 82 games while dealing with recurring shoulder fatigue, but when he was in the lineup he was a slightly above-average hitter (102 wRC+) as the third youngest player in the Cal League. His youth relative to level is a crucial factor in analyzing Diaz's production in his first full season in the United States. He is still growing into what could be average or better power down the road, thanks to plus bat speed. Diaz displayed a quality approach (71:29 K:BB in 348 plate appearances) for someone his age, and is at least an average runner on the bases. All of these tools could add up to a five-category producer when he reaches the major leagues, although he does not project to have any truly plus offensive tools.
Diaz left Cuba last spring after hitting .348/.448/.440 for the Havana Industriales of the Serie Nacional in the 2014-2015 season. The 19-year-old outfielder is considered to have plus speed with a little power, legging out 13 doubles and three triples in 65 games with the Industriales. He'll be a top prospect for the Dodgers after inking a deal that included a $15.5 million signing bonus. Prospective dynasty league owners will get a first look at how his talent translates to the U.S. this summer.
More Fantasy News
Dealing with quad injury
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
Quadriceps
August 1, 2019
Diaz exited Wednesday's game with Double-A Bowie due to a sore quad, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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Suffers apparent injury
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
Leg
July 31, 2019
Diaz was removed from Wednesday's game with Double-A Bowie due to an apparent leg injury, Dan Connolly of The Athletic reports.
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Production waning lately
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
July 2, 2019
Diaz went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and a walk Monday for Double-A Bowie in its 7-3 win over Hartford.
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Activated from IL
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
May 29, 2019
Diaz (hamstring) was activated from the minor-league injured list Wednesday, Nathan Ruiz of The Baltimore Sun reports.
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Out with strained hamstring
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
Hamstring
May 22, 2019
Diaz has been sidelined at Double-A Bowie with a strained hamstring, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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