While Miami Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz is learning to play on the Major League level, he was honored as a PCL All-Star.
It was a huge season for the 23-year-old Puerto Rico native who abused opposing pitching with power and then showed off solid defense up the middle for the Baby Cakes.
"Per the Baby Cakes public relations office, “Diaz put up a historic season, launching 26 home runs, the ninth-most in a single season in franchise history, and the most by a middle infielder. He scored 89 runs, the fourth most in a single season in New Orleans history. At the time of Diaz’s promotion to Miami, Diaz ranked among the PCL’s top 20 in runs scored (T-2nd), home runs (T-7th), OPS (7th), total bases (9th), hits (T-12th), batting average (15th), and RBI (T-19th).“He also hit safely in 17 consecutive games from May 29 to June 16, tied for the seventh-longest streak the league has seen this season.”"
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Diaz’s start in the Majors was just a prolific, hitting a home run off New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom as his father was being interviewed on television. The rookie is still getting his feet week for the parent club, adjusting to the speed and nuances of the next level of play.
He figures to become a cornerstone of the franchise, a player the Marlins can build around and the team one half of a solid double-play combination next season.
As Matt Vautour of Masslive.com wrote, in addition to the Triple-A honor, Diaz has been named the Marlins Minor League Player of the Year.
"“He was the No. 86 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline before his call up,” Vautour added. “He was selected to both the PCL All-Star Team and the All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland.”"
At the Futures Game, he was lauded for his defense against the best prospects of the American League.
Diaz was part of the deal along with Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and Jordan Yamamoto from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Christian Yelich. It’s possible, if Harrison is one of the Marlins Sept. 1 call-ups, that all four players could be on the Marlins expanded roster next week.
Even with the struggles, Diaz has dealt with since his promotion, manager Don Mattingly believes his future star will work through his troubles at the plate and in the field.
"“You want when Isan overcomes this, and when he’s been in the league for a while, and you’ve got some kid coming up, he’s going to be able to talk from experience,” Mattingly said. “He hopefully will reach out and help that kid.”"