Taking the Next Step: What to Expect This Season From Yandy Diaz
Indians third baseman Yandy Diaz has already hit a grand slam in spring training. That’s one more home run than he had all of last season in 156 AB (49 games). He hit .263 and had 13 RBI with the Tribe. While he’s shown flashes at third base, there is certainly room for improvement. His fielding percentage was .973. To put that in context, the worst team in the MLB last year, in regards to that statistic, was the Oakland A’s at .980.
But, again, this is a small sample size from the young man out of the Dominican Republic.
Last season, Diaz started the year at third base due to injuries, but he platooned back and forth from AAA. He has yet to have a full season in the big leagues or anything close. He’s only 26, which is young for baseball players.
Yes, Diaz’s lack of power is a bit of a concern. However, that comes with more time in the majors, repetitions, etc. What’s most important is that he is hitting the ball hard. The home runs will come.
As far as the defense, that must improve. In order to play the Hot Corner in the bigs, Diaz will have to get that fielding percentage up. Again, it comes with the reps.
This spring, Diaz is hitting .409 with one home run (that aforementioned grand slam) and nine RBI. Clearly, it looks like he is making improvements.
I expect Yandy Diaz to make the MLB roster and if it’s not as a starting role than as a platoon guy until someone inevitably gets injured. Hey, it’s sadly part of the game.
Frankly, it’s only a matter of time before Yandy becomes a star.