Analysis: Prospects in Burnitz Deal

Jim Duquette continued the fire sale on Tuesday afternoon when he shipped out Jeromy Burnitz to the Dodgers for prospects that will hopefully contribute for the Mets on the major-league level in the near future. We take an in-depth look at infield prospect Victor Diaz and minor league pitchers Joselo Diaz and Kole Strayhorn.

Victor Diaz (2B) - 21
Drafted by the Dodgers in the thirty-seventh round of the 2000 draft, Victor has made a name for himself with his bat, but it is well documented that his defense needs improvement. He is, like Royce Ring was in the Alomar deal, the key prospect the Mets are getting back.

Offense: He made a name for himself early, winning battling titles with both the Dodgers' Coast Gulf League team in 2001 (.354) and their South Atlantic League team in 2002 (.350). He also racks up extra-base hits. He had 55 doubles, 4 triples, and 17 home runs in his first two seasons with just 696 at bats. He'll shoot the ball into the gaps. Baseball America has said he has "a slightly unorthodox, free-swinging approach at the plate". Captured the MVP of the Double-A Southern League all-star game a week ago.

Defense: Everyone knows he can hit, the only problem is finding a spot for him on the field. Los Angeles moved him to second base this year, where he played it regularly for Jacksonville. He's been put everywhere on the infield except short and its hoped he'll find a home at second. He has an average arm and is capable of playing the outfield as well.

Overall: It's expected that he will report to Binghamton right now and arrive in Norfolk by the end of this year or start their next season. A call-up to the Mets could occur late in 2004, but certainly in 2005. Danny Garcia most likely will see Flushing first, but many believe he projects to nothing more than a utility player.

Baseball America rank: Number 13 in the Los Angeles system coming into this season.

Year

Team

Class

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2003

Jacksonville

AA

.291

316

92

10

54

42

8

27

60

.353

.462

2002

South Georgia

A

.350

349

122

10

58

64

20

27

69

.407

.521

2002

Jacksonville

AA

.211

152

32

4

24

22

7

7

42

.258

.336

2001

Dodgers (GCL)

R

.354

195

69

3

31

36

6

16

23

.414

.353


*Stats as of 7/14/03.

Kole Strayhorn (RHP) - 21 on 10/01/03
Overview: The product of Seminole, Oklahoma will light up the radar gun with his fastball. It's been charted as high as ninety-eight, but he can throw consistently in the 93-95 range. Coming into this season, nineteen of his forty-five appearances have been as a starter, but he most likely will end up as a reliever.

Year

Team

Class

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2003

Vero Beach

A

5-2

7

46.0

42

13

44

2.93

2002

South Georgia

A

1-7

4

93.1

99

38

50

4.24

2001

Dodgers (GCL)

R

5-3

0

53.0

41

17

47

2.21

2001

Great Falls

Pio

0-0

0

2.0

4

1

1

18.00


*Stats as of 7/14/03.

Joselo Diaz (RHP) - 23
Overview: The Dodgers originally signed him as a catcher out of the Dominican Republic in 1996, but his bat didn't meet expectations. They were impressed by his arm and decided to convert him into a pitcher. Great work ethic. Still a work in progress.

Year

Team

Class

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2003

Vero Beach

A

5-2

1

61.2

39

48

69

3.50

2003

Jacksonville

AA

0-0

0

7.2

5

3

7

0.00

2001

Dodgers (GCL)

R

5-3

0

53.0

41

17

47

2.21

2001

Great Falls

Pio

0-0

0

2.0

4

1

1

18.00


*Stats as of 7/14/03.

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