Yusniel Diaz
22-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Baltimore Orioles AA
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Traded to the Orioles in July of 2018.
Heating up at Double-A
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
August 21, 2018
Diaz went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run for Double-A Bowie in its 6-2 win over Richmond on Monday.
ANALYSIS
After being acquired in July in the trade that sent Manny Machado to the Dodgers, Diaz didn't make a positive impression with his new organization, going just 10-for-55 (.182 average) in his first 16 games with Bowie. The outfielder has been riding a hot bat ever since, however, turning in three multi-hit efforts over his past nine starts while homering three times. Because of his lack of impact tools, Diaz doesn't projected as a multi-category contributor at the game's top level, but his excellent plate approach and impressive bat speed should aid him to high averages and on-base percentages at his peak.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
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.
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Struggling since trade
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
August 8, 2018
Diaz is hitting .192/.300/.288 with one home run and two steals in 15 games (60 plate appearances) with Double-A Bowie.
ANALYSIS
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Headlines package for Machado
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
July 18, 2018
Diaz was shipped to Baltimore as the headliner in a five-player package for Manny Machado on Wednesday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
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Delivers four-hit performance
OFLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
July 9, 2018
Diaz recorded a season-high four hits -- including his sixth home run of the season -- in Double-A Tulsa's 10-5 victory over Frisco on Sunday.
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Hits DL with hip issue
OFLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
Hip
May 16, 2018
Diaz was placed on the 7-day disabled list Tuesday at Double-A Tulsa due to a hip injury, Kelsie Heneghan of MiLB.com reports.
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Three hits in return from DL
OFLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
April 20, 2018
Diaz (undisclosed) came off the minor-league disabled list Thursday and went 3-for-4 with a double and two walks for Double-A Tulsa.
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