In his first full season in the Majors, can Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz keep the second base job?
Isan Diaz’s audition in the Majors was one of hope and a need for more growth. There is no doubt the Miami Marlins want the youngster to come to Spring Training and not only tear the cover off of the baseball, but also become more comfortable with the speed of the game on defense from the second base bag.
Diaz was arguably the team’s best minor league talent last season, earning him a chance to show what he could do in The Show the second half of the 2019 season. He received mixed reviews. While hiring home runs against both Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were highlights, there were some issues with his defense and hitting the baseball with regularity.
The 2020 season should be Diaz’s to showcase his talent, but he knows walking into camp, which begins in a month, nothing is given, and he must earn his shot with the Marlins and their veteran players.
"“Diaz, who turns 24 in May, went to Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round of the 2014 draft, following his senior year at Springfield’s Central High School,” Garry Brown writes in a story that appears on Masslive.com. “After moving on to Milwaukee in 2016 as part of a trade, he went to the Marlins in 2018 in the blockbuster deal that sent slugger Christian Yelich to the Brewers.”"
More from Marlins News
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
The Marlins felt comfortable enough with Diaz moving forward to decide against picking up the final year of the contract for Starlin Castro, who led the team in home runs and RBI last season. Now with a little more pressure to take the next leap, the second baseman also must find comfort in an infield with new teammates.
Miami traded for Jonathan Villar to play third base and picked up Jesus Aguilar to take over at first base off waivers from Tampa Bay. His double-play mate Miguel Rojas will remain at shortstop. Villar can play all over the infield. Should Diaz stumble a bit, there is depth when needed.
"“The Marlins still might seek another veteran to provide infield depth, but it appears that Diaz will be given every opportunity to win that second base job,” Brown added. “To do so, he will have to learn to be patient at the plate, while at the same time working on his defense.”"
The Marlins could use Diaz’s power at the top of the order or in the fifth or sixth spot in the batting order. The team got stronger at the plate this offseason after hitting only 146 home runs in 2019.