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The season that was: Aledmys Diaz

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A look at Aledmys’ 2018 season

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays picked up Aledmys Diaz in trade from the Cardinals, for J.B. Woodman, back on December 1 of last year.

We were pretty happy with the trade.

At the time I said:

There isn’t much to say beyond I like the deal. He won’t give us the defense that Goins did, but he should, at least, be reasonable with the bat. He’s going to make a bit of money, nice to see the Jays didn’t cheap out.

With the Jays rather fragile middle infield, we needed better than Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney. As it turned out it wasn’t just the middle infielders who were fragile, we had a lot of games at third that weren’t played by Josh Donaldson.

Diaz didn’t have a great 2017 season, hitting just .259/.290/.392 in 79 games, so the Cardinals weren’t all that attached to him.

If you are curious, J.B. Woodman hit .246/.318/.373, with 6 home runs, in 68 games at high A this year.

Diaz?

Standard Batting
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
130 452 422 55 111 26 0 18 55 3 4 23 62 .263 .303 .453 .756 106
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/17/2018.

Baseball Reference had him at a 1.4 WAR. FanGraphs at 1.6, giving him a value of $12.9 million for the Jays.

Aledmys had a wOBA of .321 and a wRC+ of 102.

Compared to last year with the Cardinals, Diaz stuckout a little bit less (13.7%, from 14.0) and walked a bit more (5.1%, from 4.3).

His line drive rate was up (18.1%, from 16.6), ground ball rate down (40.7%, from 45.6) and fly ball rate up (41.2%, from 37.8). more of his fly balls left the park (12.0%, from 7.7).

His hard contact was way up (31.9%) and soft contact was down (19.2%, from 23.2).

But, surprisingly his BABIP was down (.269, from 282).

Diaz was better against RHP (.276/.305/.467) than LHP (.223/.298/.408).

He was better at home (.285/.317/.464) than on the road (.242/.290/.442). He had more homers on the road 11 to 7.

He hit .250/.313/.410 with runners in scoring position.

Diaz was much better in the second half (.290/.333/.523) than in the first half (.240/.277/.393).

Aledmys by month:

  • April: .183/.230/.354 with 4 home runs in 25 games.
  • May: .350/.435/.750 with 2 home runs in 7 games.
  • June: .280/.299/.366 with 1 home run in 26 games.
  • July: .267/.286/.533 with 4 home runs in 19 games.
  • August: .258/.296/.473 with 5 home runs in 27 games.
  • September: .311/.369/.500 with 2 home runs in 26 games.

You might remember he hurt his ankle racing Chris Archer to first base May 6th in Tampa. He turned his ankle stepping on the edge of the bag. And, of course, he was on a hot streak with the bat at the time.

Defensively, he played 800 innings at shortstop. FanGraphs has him as a slightly below average SS, with a -3.2 UZR/150. He might have been slightly below average, but he looked good compared to the other guys we had at the position. He made 7 errors, 4 fielding and 3 throwing, for a .980 fielding average.

He played 261.2 innings at third base, most of them coming in the second half of the season. UZR had him 2.4/150, slightly above average. I thought he looked better that third than short. He made 2 errors at third, both fielding, for a .973 FA.

FanGraphs has him a below average base runner, 3.2 runs worse than the average base runner, which actually makes him one of the better runners on our team,He stole 3 bases, caught 4 times.

Where Diaz hit in the order:

  • 3rd: 2 times.
  • 5th: 1 time.
  • 6th: 14 times.
  • 7th: 33 times.
  • 8th: 40 times.
  • 9th: 30 times.

The Jays were 56-64 with Diaz in the starting lineup.

His longest hitting streak was 7 games. Longest on base streak 12 games.

His favorite team to face? Well, it was only 3 games, but he hit .600/.600/2.300 with 3 homers in 10 at bats vs. the White Sox.

Least favorite? He was 0 for 8 vs. the Marlins.


Before the season our question about Diaz was would be be closer to the All-Star he was in 2016 or the disappointment he was in 2017.

His OPS was .756, so closer to 2017, but i don’t consider it a disappointing season.

The question facing the Jays is what to do with him this winter. We are kind of overloaded with infielders and being in rebuild mode, I’d imagine every player over 26 would have to be ready for the possibility of being moved. Of course, since we picked him up for J.B. Woodman, I doubt there is a heck of a lot of trade value there.

Diaz is still in his pre-arbitration years, and will be will be fairly inexpensive this year. And the Jays will need someone to play third base for two weeks at the start of the season (as well as being a defensive replacement and fill in when Vlad Jr. DHes on occasion).

I wonder if the plan on keeping him around until spring training, and see what happens with Tulo. Or keep him around until they decide that Vlad’s has learned all the table manners he needs to be able to make it in the majors. I would be

We could (and have) done far worse for a backup infielder (who ends up playing full-time).


Tough to pick a play of the year for Diaz, but let’s say this is it.