The Cleveland Indians have received “several” offers for versatile prospect Yandy Diaz, according to Terry Pluto . Also of note, Pluto states that the Indians see Diaz as a big-league ready hitter, which is what many of us thought as early as last season.
Diaz, 25, has always been a patient hitter at the plate, carrying a walk rate of 12 percent or higher at every level of his career. His biggest problem until recently has been raw power, something the third baseman/corner outfielder has lacked throughout much of his minor league career. However, between 2015 and 2016, Diaz slugged 16 against Double-A and Triple-A pitching.
He was especially good while playing for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers last season when he slashed .325/.399/.461 with seven home runs in 95 games. And of course that came after a blistering 26 game stretch with the Akron RubberDucks in which he slashed .286/.445/.381.
It’s no surprise other teams are interested in Diaz, either. With the thin hitters market this free agent class presents, rival general managers are turning to the fringe MLB-ready talent of other ball clubs. Diaz is clearly on that level, and probably could have debut at the tail end of last season.
Diaz’s emergence may also be a reason that Indians have not went out and signed a free agent hitter already. If they believe, as Pluto believes, that Diaz is ready to play in the majors next season, a lower-end free agent may just be a redundancy when the regular season rolls around.