Yusniel Diaz
22-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Baltimore Orioles AA
7-Day IL
Injury Hamstring
Est. Return 6/4/2019
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.
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.
ANALYSIS
Diaz has not played for the Baysox since April 25. It is unclear when he will be back, but it should be fairly soon if he is indeed dealing with a typical hamstring strain.
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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
Heads to injured list
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
Undisclosed
April 26, 2019
Diaz was placed on the 7-day injured list Friday due to an undisclosed injury.
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Remains at Double-A
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
March 30, 2019
Diaz will open the year at Double-A Bowie, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports.
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Collects three hits
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
February 28, 2019
Diaz went 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored in Thursday's game against the Phillies.
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Receives spring training invite
OFBaltimore Orioles  AA
January 25, 2019
Diaz will attend major-league spring training with the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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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.
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