Marlins prospect continues to excel in Dominican Republic

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 24: Miami Marlins mascot Billy the Marlin before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 24, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 24: Miami Marlins mascot Billy the Marlin before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 24, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /
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As the offseason continues for Lewin Diaz, the Marlins are getting a clear vision of their first baseman of the future.

The Marlins did well right before the MLB trade deadline by sending reliever Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins in return for Lewin Diaz. The first baseman didn’t disappoint as he showed power in the minor leagues this past season.

Diaz, who slugged 27 home runs in 2019, might be the team’s best first base prospect in a number of years. He has continued to display power in the Dominican Republic this off-season, which is a good thing for an organization that will need his bat, potentially as early as the second half of the 2020 season.

It is also a possibility that the Marlins and Romo strike a deal in free agency to bring the reliever back to add stability to not only the bullpen but the team is closer role.

According to William Boor of MLB.com, Diaz continues to remain hot as winter approaches.

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"“Diaz hit a career-high 27 homers over 121 games this season and brought that power with him to the Dominican Republic, where he’s tied for second among league leaders with three homers through 21 games,” Boor wrote. “The Marlins acquired Diaz from the Twins in July and the 22-year-old reached Double-A over the summer. Diaz hit .270 across two levels this season and is slashing .269/.326/.449 in winter ball.”"

His performance is also encouraging because the Marlins go into the off-season in need of a first baseman with power. If the season started today, Garrett Cooper would likely get the nod, with Austin Dean potentially making a strong case to make a permanent switch from the outfield to the corner bag.

As of now, Diaz is tied for second in the Dominican Republic in home runs.

There is still plenty of speculation the Marlins will seek a first baseman in free agency or work a trade using top prospects or expendable veterans from the roster.

The player most closely linked to the team in free agency, Jose Abreu, was offered a qualifying offer by the Chicago White Sox. His departure to South Florida now becomes unlikely.

Other names that have been mentioned, Justin Smoak and Nick Markakis, are still options for the team.

The Marlins may make a run at Matt Adams now that the Washington Nationals did not pick up his $4 million option, rather decided on a $1 million buyout.

When the team goes to camp for Spring Training in February in Jupiter, Florida, there will be many topics that the front office and coaching staff must address. Miami finished last in the Majors in home runs hit in 2019.

Diaz is currently ranked 12th in the Marlins minor league system.

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