CLEVELAND -- Despite an inauspicious beginning to his career, Yandy Diaz has the exit velocity to prove he may be on the verge of breaking out of his shell at the plate.
The bulging biceps of the 25-year-old Cuban third baseman have produced an average exit velocity of 90.87 mph through seven games played, per MLB's Statcast technology. The mark is nearly three miles per hour above the big league average (87.93) heading into play on Wednesday.
"He doesn’t look nervous to me,” said manager Terry Francona earlier in the week. “I think he likes playing baseball, and I think he’s enjoying the opportunity to play here."
Although Diaz is batting an unimpressive .222 (6-for-27) with one double and five runs scored, he has made a strong impression on Francona and staff.
"His at-bats have been really good for the most part," Francona said. "And he's so strong, he's hit a number of balls. Normally, when you use the whole field you get rewarded. That hasn't necessarily happened with him yet."
Since the beginning of the 2016 season, Diaz has played third base, second base, left field, right field and center field. Diaz's commitment to find a solidified role at the game's highest level is a testament to the hard work he has put in throughout his three-year minor league tenure.
"If he keeps swinging like he is, you'll see some numbers get better," said Francona.
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.