CHRISTOPHER DIAZ, SHORTSTOP
|Born: November 9, 1990
Drafted: 11th Round, 346th Overall, 2012
How Acquired: Draft
College: North Carolina State
Agent: Sosnick Cobbe Sports
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Diaz had a strong junior season, which got him ranked by Baseball America as the 430th best prospect in the draft. His build is stocky and he doesn’t have a lot of speed, making him less than ideal at short, but BA described him as a solid defensive player. He signed quickly after the draft. As a pro, he hasn’t been able to sustain the hitting he showed as a college junior and as a result appears to be an organizational player now.
Diaz was the regular at short for State College after he signed. He mostly struggled at the plate, although he did improve over time. His OPS was .406 in July, .642 in August and .876 in five September games.
Diaz was hurt at the start of the season and stayed in extended spring training until going on a rehab assignment to the GCL in June. The Pirates moved him up to West Virginia in early July and he played semi-regularly after that. His time was divided between second, third and short. He seldom struck out and had a decent walk rate, but he didn’t hit the ball with much authority.
The Pirates sent Diaz back to West Virginia as a utility player. He played second, third and short, and ended up getting a lot of playing time at the latter two positions due to injuries to JaCoby Jones and Wyatt Mathisen. At the plate, he had almost exactly the same season as the year before. For the second year in a row, he had an OPS below .500 against LHPs.
Diaz spent most of the season at Bradenton as a utility player, then became the primary shortstop in late July after JaCoby Jones was traded. He hit almost exactly the same as the year before. He has, however, established himself as one of the better defensive infielders in the system.
Diaz spent the season with Altoona. Initially, he shared the shortstop position with Anderson Feliz, which gave the Curve one offense-oriented and one defense-oriented shortstop. After Kevin Newman was promoted, Diaz was mainly a backup. He got some time at second and third. He hit very much the same as the previous year, except for increased walk and K rates.
Diaz wasn’t on any roster to start the 2017 season, but he’ll probably appear at some point, most likely at Altoona.
|2017: Minor league contract.
|Signing Bonus: $100,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MiLB FA Eligible: 2018
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 5, 2012: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 11th round, 346th overall pick; signed on June 18.|