Saturday, November 15, 2008

Worth a Shot: Victor Diaz

Way back in 2005, the Mets thought they had the second coming of Manny Ramirez on their hands. His name was Victor Diaz and he possessed light tower power that left Mets fans salivating. Diaz was built like Ramirez, seemed to hit like Ramirez, but unfortunately, Diaz also fielded like Manny Ramirez. The Mets grew frustrated with Diaz's inability to play defense and his free swinging approach at the plate. By 2006, the Mets had traded Diaz to the Rangers and before I knew it, our Manny Ramirez was gone. Yet another flame out.

With that said, I still think that Diaz is worth a shot for an AL team. Diaz is only 27 years old and showed some improvements this season in AAA. In only 107 games for the Tacoma Rainiers this season, Diaz hit 24 homers with a .280 batting average. Perhaps most importantly, Diaz posted a .362 OBP, which should be good enough for Diaz to garner some attention from big league teams. This was by far Diaz's best season in the minors in terms of putting it all together: power, batting average, and OBP.

Diaz will always be a flawed player and is VERY far from "the next Manny Ramirez", but the reward is potentially very high with Diaz. At worst, Diaz is a right handed pinch hitter off the bench, who can tie up a game with one swing of the bat. Power hitters like Diaz are hard to find and as we saw with Nelson Cruz this season, for some guys, it takes time. Just keep preaching OBP, OBP, OBP! Hopefully, a team will reap the rewards with Victor Diaz.

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