We’ve received a dozen emails lately asking about Cuban shortstop Aledyms Diaz who will soon be eligible to sign with any MLB team. After falsifying his age, Diaz had been prevented from signing with any team, but his punishment is up Feb. 19.
There has been plenty of interest in him and he’s considered one of the top international players available, especially now with Masahiro Tanaka signed, sealed and delivered.
I’ll leave the rest of this to our MMO Senior Editor and Minor League Analyst, Mitch… Joe D.
(Pretend drum roll)
Thoughts from Mitch Petanick…
There will be no shortage of teams that are interested in Diaz. An offensive-minded shortstop, Diaz’s swing is compact and powerful. He’s well rounded offensively—patient, and hits for average and power. Defensively, he has a tendency to make errors, but has solid range and a cannon of an arm. If he doesn’t clean up the defense he could always survive in an outfield role due to his bat and his strong arm.
I would expect that whatever team signs Diaz could start him in Double-A due to his advanced bat. If the Mets signed him, he could be in a position to help the team as early as this season. A short stint in the minors to acclimate Diaz would be all that is necessary.
When the Athletics signed Yoeonis Cespedes, he was 26 years-old, so the team felt comfortable throwing him into the major-league mix immediately. Diaz is a slightly different case—he’s a little bit younger, and due to the defensive question mark, the team that signs him will probably opt to start him in the minors to give him a little bit of polish before promoting him. Make no bones about it, I think this guy can be a very solid major league ball player and he should definitely be on the Mets’ radar.
Below is a brief but excellent clip of Diaz showing off his arm strength. Notice how he chases the slow roller into the hole to his right, throws off his back foot, and has enough arm strength and accuracy to nail the runner with about three steps to spare. That is a major league play.