The Pirates Prospects 2015 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2015 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.
To recap the countdown so far:
20. Luis Heredia, RHP
19. JaCoby Jones, SS
18. Willy Garcia, OF
17. Clay Holmes, RHP
16. Gage Hinsz, RHP
15. Trey Supak, RHP
14. Cody Dickson, LHP
13. John Holdzkom, RHP
12. Adrian Sampson, RHP
11. Harold Ramirez, OF
We continue the countdown with the number 10 prospect, Elias Diaz.
10. Elias Diaz, C
Diaz has always been highly regarded for his defensive skills, being named the best defender in his league by Baseball America in each of the last two seasons. He’s got a good frame, a plus arm, and good agility behind the plate. The Pirates love his defense, considering him one of the best defenders in the system. By our ranks, he would finish second behind Reese McGuire.
The big thing that Diaz needed to show in previous years was offense. He always had potential with his bat, displaying a line drive swing and gap power. The skills were good, and he was never overmatched at the plate, but the results never showed up on the field. That changed in 2013, when he finished the season with an .892 OPS in August. He carried that success over to the 2014 season, finally breaking out at the plate.
Diaz put up fantastic numbers, hitting for average, getting on base, and adding some power. His strikeouts were low, and his walk rate was good, which is not a combo that you usually see from hitters out of Latin America. He was moved up to Indianapolis at the end of the season, although the offense didn’t carry over in a small sample size. He went to the AFL in the off-season to get continued work in the upper levels.
Diaz should return to Indianapolis in 2015. Prior to his breakout season, he looked like a future defensive-minded backup catcher. The 2014 season propelled him to be the top catching option in the upper levels, surpassing Tony Sanchez as the catcher of the future. He could arrive in Pittsburgh in 2015, but will first need to work on his hitting and fine tune his defense in Triple-A.