Starting at second base for the Miami Hurricanes is something Walter Diaz couldn't have imagined growing up as a ‘Canes fan in Miami. He's living a dream that most kids can't imagine.
"Sometimes I can't believe it," Diaz said. "I never expected to start as a freshman. Just the chance to be a Miami Hurricane is a dream come true in itself. I've been very fortunate."
As have the ‘Canes who found themselves a second baseman who will surely be here at least two more years following this year. He has started 25 of the 28 games this season.
Diaz stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 184 pounds. He graduated from G. Holmes Braddock High School in West Miami-Dade County.
As a junior, Diaz also won a Class 6A state championship while at Columbus High School in Miami.
However, the transition from being a star in high school to being just another baseball player took time for Diaz to adjust to.
"There was a lot to adjust to," Diaz said. "The speed of the game is much faster than in high school. Everything about it from the speed of the pitches, to how hard the ball gets hit, to the pitchers hitting their spots."
One thing Diaz noted especially was the fact that every pitcher can generally pick his spots.
"In high school, you might have one guy who could throw 91-92 miles per hour and could hit his spots with the fast balls," Diaz said. "Now, every pitcher I see can throw it 92 with no problem and hit his spots."
On Friday night againt Georgia Tech, Diaz was the only person to not get on base against Georgia Tech starter Jason Neighborgall, striking out on four pitches.
"Honestly, I wasn't even looking to swing," Diaz said. "He was so wild with everyone else. He couldn't find the plate with anyone before me. And then with me, he throws three perfect pitches. But that guy could throw the ball. If he wasn't so wild, he'd be very dangerous because he's hitting 95 with his fast ball."
And it's something Diaz has slowly gotten used to since he's seeing it more often as a starter.
"It took me about 15 games to really get used to the speed of the game," Diaz said. "I am getting the hang of it now and seeing pitches much better."
That can mean only great things for the ‘Canes and their fans.
As a youngster, Diaz grew up watching the ‘Canes go to Omaha winning two of their five College World Series Titles. It's somewhere Diaz dreams of participating in.
"I am really anxious to get to Omaha," Diaz said. "It looks crazy just from TV. I can't even imagine what it would be like to get there. I think about it all the time. I talk about it all the time."
"It's just living a dream."
Walter Diaz Living a Dream
Canes Time Top Stories
Canes Off to Fast Start Under RichtMiami Hurricanes football is 3-0 heading into a conference matchup against Georgia Tech. Find out what else is going right for the Canes under new head coach, Mark Richt courtesy…
Canes TimeYesterday at 3:41 PM
Wednesday Q&A with Manny DIazRead on to see everything defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was saying following Wednesday's practice.
Canes TimeYesterday at 12:46 PM
Richt Talks About Keys to Beating GTRead on to see everything Mark Richt was saying following Wednesday's practice.
Canes TimeYesterday at 12:32 PM
Tuesday Q&A with Thomas BrownRead on to see everything offensive coordinator Thomas Brown was saying Tuesday morning as the Canes prepare to take on Georgia Tech Saturday.
Canes TimeTuesday at 11:28 AM
Tuesday Q&A with Mark RichtRead on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying on Tuesday morning as his team prepares to take on Georgia Tech Saturday.
Canes TimeTuesday at 11:15 AM