When Will Lewin Diaz Land at 1B With the Miami Marlins?

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Lewin Diaz #68 of the Miami Marlins poses for a photo during Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Lewin Diaz #68 of the Miami Marlins poses for a photo during Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins have a plethora of options staring them in the face when it comes to a first baseman in 2020.

Conventional wisdom would see either Jesus Aguilar or Garrett Cooper take the first base position for the Miami Marlins. Cooper’s injury history has cast questions on his aspersions, while Aguilar’s subpar 2019 yield further questions as well.

Enter Lewin Diaz.

Unlike Cooper or Aguilar, Diaz bats left-handed, and as such would platoon well with whoever wins the Opening Day job at first base. A six-foot-four 225 lb. Santiago, DR native, the now 23-year-old joined the Miami Marlins organization on July 27th last season. He came over from the Minnesota Twins for major league closer Sergio Romo and pitching prospect Chris Vallimont.

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FORT MYERS, FL- FEBRUARY 28: Lewin Diaz of the Minnesota Twins. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

After joining the team, Diaz played 31 games for the Marlins with their Double-A level affiliate in the Southern League, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Although he hit just .200/.279/.461, he also connected for eight homers with 14 RBI. He had hit 19 between two Minnesota affiliates  to make a total of 27 in 121 games.

Diaz, who is currently ranked as the Miami Marlins number 12 overall prospect according to the MLB Pipeline, is a three-tool prospect. A below-average runner, Diaz has done well to keep his strikeout rate relatively low through his minor league career, at 17.6 percent. According to Pipeline,

"Diaz’s value lies in his offensive potential from the left side of the plate. He had shown an ability to make consistent contact and drive the ball to all fields in the past, though lost his way in 2018. He rediscovered his stroke in 2019 and is starting to tap into his tremendous raw power, especially to the pull side, setting a career high in home runs. Even when Diaz struggled, he kept his strikeout rate low and never really tried to sell out for power. A below-average runner, Diaz will be a first baseman only and should be capable enough to not be a liability there."

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Diaz is listed with 55 raw power, and projects to be a 20 homer-type threat on a major league club soon. In 458 career minor league contests, he’s put together a .268/.322/.457 slashline while providing passable defense at first with a .989 career fielding percentage.

Will Diaz make the club sooner or later? He’s likely to break camp and head back to the Shrimp, but is a better-than-even bet to graduate to the Triple-A Wichita Wind Surge in the Pacific Coast League sometime in the first half of the 2020 campaign. Look for a possible major league debut for him either late in the season or as a strong candidate to enter 2021 either first or second on the depth chart.

Thanks for reading today. Check back here tomorrow for a look into Corey Dickerson’s first season with the Miami Marlins.

Next. Isan Diaz Ready to Assume Second Base. dark

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