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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Aledmys Diaz

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St Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Blue Jays picked up Aledmys Diaz back in early December, for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. The question I have is ‘how long will it take me to learn to spell Aledmys, without having to look it up’. I’m figuring mid-season. Maybe we could just call him Al.

I haven’t seen him play much, so I really don’t know much about him.

Aledmys has played two seasons in the MLB. His first one was very good, hitting .300/.369/.510 with 17 home runs. The second, not so great, .259/.290/.392 with 7 home runs.

His walk rate dropped by over half (8.9% in 2016, 4.3%in 2017), but his strikeout rate was about the same (13.0% in 2016, 14.0% in 2017). He made a lot less ‘hard’ contact (23.6% in 2017, 31.5 2016), even though his line drive rates were pretty much the same (15.6 in 2016, 16.6% in 2017).

It seems like pitchers threw him more breaking stuff his second year. That’s not all that unusual, pitchers throw fastballs to rookies until the prove they can hit them and, if they can, they try other stuff. Aledmys will just have to make the adjustment.

Aledmys played mostly short, with the Cardinals. 175 games at short, 4 at third, 2 at second, 3 in left. He’s likely going to have to play other positions with the Jays. He hasn’t been great, -8.0 UZR/150, in his career at short.

The question is:

Will we get the Aledmys Diaz from 2016 or the Aledmys Diaz from 2017?

My guess is somewhere in between (yeah, really going out on a limb there).

He was hit by a pitch in the hand, in 2016, fracturing his thumb, and missed all of August. When he came back in September, he wasn’t the same hitter as earlier in the season. It’s possible he was still feeling some pain last year. Might explain the weak contact. We have seen players who needed a year to get their swing back after a hand injury.

Or maybe pitchers figured him out.

It will be different to have a backup fielder who is a bat first infielder, instead of the glove types we’ve had recently.

Poll

Aledmys Díaz’s 2018 OPS will be closer to the

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    .879 from 2016
    (533 votes)
  • 34%
    .682 from 2017
    (277 votes)
810 votes total Vote Now