Isan Diaz: The Miami Marlins future at second base
By David Levin
The Miami Marlins may need to make room for second baseman Isan Diaz on the 25-man roster as the team heads to Spring Training in February.
At just 22 years of age, Miami Marlins prospects Isan Diaz is just tapping into is potential as a power-hitting second baseman. His success in the minors last season could mean there are changes around the diamond in 2019 at Marlins Park.
Diaz, who is ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the team’s minor league system by MLB Pipeline, has used the 2018 season, splitting time between Jacksonville and New Orleans, to show he will be a star once he makes the Major League roster.
He is also one of the breakout stars to watch, according to William Boor, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com.
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His success this coming season will determine when the Marlins decide to trade veteran second baseman Starlin Castro, whose contract is bigger than what the organization wants to handle in the future.
This season, Castro makes $11 million and is scheduled to make $16 million in 2020, according to spotrac.com. If Diaz can show he can handle Major League hitting, it might mean the veteran obtained in the Giancarlo Stanton deal with the New York Yankees will be a trade deadline mover.
Everyone talks about how the Marlins acquired outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison and pitcher Jordan Yamamoto in the deal for Christian Yelich from the Brewers. Diaz was also part of the deal but may have been overlooked. Now, it is his chance to shine.
"“After joining the Marlins from the Brewers in last offseason’s Christian Yelich blockbuster, Diaz, in his age-22 season, produced a .771 OPS with 13 home runs over 119 games between Double-A and Triple-A,” all three baseball analysts write."
Diaz can play both second base and shortstop, which makes him more valuable to the team as they move forward in the rebuilding of the organization. The Marlins lack power in their current lineup. Should Diaz, who is all of 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, continue progressing in the minors, he could be a power source the team can count on in the middle of the order.
For now, Miguel Rojas and J.T. Riddle will compete for the starting spot at shortstop. Joe Dunand should be the future at the position as he moves through the team’s minor league system. It’s not unrealistic to think a Diaz-Dunand double-play combination in the middle of the team’s infield won’t start the season together in Miami in 2020.
"“Power is Diaz’s calling card — he’s hit at least 13 homers in each of the past four years, highlighted by a career-high 20 homers during his 2016 full-season debut — as he’s long impressed evaluators with his ability to drive the ball out of the park to all fields with a Robinson Cano-esque swing, MLB.com added."
"“That power could be on display in Miami next season after the club added Diaz to its 40-man roster.”"