Final 2003 Scouting Report: 2B, Victor Diaz

The offensively talented second basemen was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round of the 2000 draft, but was shipped to the Mets for Jeromy Burnitz in July as part of Jim Duquette's massive overhaul. It didn't take long for Diaz to impress as a professional, snatching batting titles -- Gulf Coast and South Atlantic leagues -- in his first two professional seasons. Though, scouts have continued to question his work ethic and his willingness to control his weight issues.

Diaz, 22, played his high school ball in Chicago and was signed as a draft-and-follow prior to attending Grayson County CC in Texas. Offensively, there's a lot of promise, but defense has been a serious question and is bound have a significant effect on his future.

Many scouts throughout the league are concerned with his weight problems, knowing full well that he has had trouble controlling it. In effect, it's led to poor defensive skills and a player with a position on the diamond that's in doubt. He's bounced around from third, to first, to second, and there's been speculation of a move to a corner outfield spot.

Following the trade that sent him and pitchers Joselo Diaz and Kole Strayhorn to the Mets organization, Victor reported to Double-A Binghamton where he thrived, hitting .354 with 11 doubles, 6 homers, and 23 RBIs in just 175 at bats.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2003

Binghamton

.354

175

11

6

23

26

7

8

32

.382

.420

2003

Jacksonville

.291

316

20

10

54

42

8

27

60

.353

.462

2002

Jacksonville

.211

152

7

4

24

22

7

7

42

.258

.336

2002

South Georgia

.350

349

26

10

58

64

20

27

69

.407

.521

2001

GCL Dodgers

.354

195

22

3

31

36

6

16

23

.414

.333


*Stats as of 9/7/03.

Batting and Power. He needs to improve on his patience and projects to be to be around a 15-20 HR player. He's as strong as an ox and possesses an unconventional batting style. He'll mix in doubles, accumulating at least 20 in all three of his first professional seasons. Best described as a line-drive hitter who goes the other way, with power, extremely well and uses the gaps.

Base Running and Speed. Once Diaz gets his legs moving, he's an above-average runner.

Defense. Diaz is a below-average fielder who has played musical chairs in terms of settling down at a position. Often, he's neglected to work on his defense in favor of improving an already potent bat. His weight issues have limited his range and mobility. He does have very good hands, which is one of the reasons why Los Angeles shifted him to second with hopes he would find a home there.

Projection. A lot hinges on how much Victor is willing to work on conditioning. If he can keep his weight in check, he could be a solid player, but that is a huge question mark. His strong debut at Binghamton has made him a nice trading chip if the Mets sign Kazuo Matsui, which would ship Jose Reyes to second, and leave no spot for Diaz.

ETA. 2005.

Comparison. The most common comparison made by scouts is to Carlos Baerga. Both are built similarly and are known for their offensive production rather than their glove.

Middle Infielders Team
Danny Garcia AAA - Norfolk Tides
Chris Basak AA - Binghamton Mets
Victor Diaz AA - Binghamton Mets
Brian Shipp AA - Binghamton Mets
Joseph Jiannetti A - St. Lucie Mets
Blake Whealy A - Capital City Bombers
Corey Ragsdale A - Capital City Bombers
David Reaver A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Marcos Cabral R - Kingsport Mets
Todd Dulaney R - Kingsport Mets
Edgar Bruzal R - Tronconero Mets
Wilson Medina R - DSL Mets


Comments


Currently, the organization doesn't have a solid all-around player that could step in and on an everyday basis. Diaz, at this point, has shown his defense to be a major problem. Yet, with rumors circulating that Kazuo Matsui could be Flushing bound, that may soon be irrelevant. Diaz then turns into an unnecessary player that can be used to net someone in a trade for general manager Jim Duquette. Garcia could turn out to be a solid utility player for Art Howe.

1. Victor Diaz - Talented offensive player, but has trouble controlling his weight and struggles with the glove. Little range. Acquired from Dodgers in deal that shipped out Burnitz, reported to Binghamton and managed to go .354 with 11 doubles, 6 homers, and 23 RBIs in just 175 at bats. Solid trade-bait.

2. Danny Garcia - Great work-ethic, but scouts wonder whether he has the skills to be an everyday player. Started season in Binghamton, but hit .333 and moved up to Norfolk where he got 388 ABs and finished at .263 with 23 doubles, 4 homers, and 54 RBIs. Above-average fielder that saw September call-up to Shea.

3. Chase Lambin - The former Cyclone spent the season in St. Lucie during 2003, finishing with a .289 average, 27 doubles, 5 homers, and 49 RBIs. Had 46 walks, but also struck out 81 times. Needs work. Solid defense.

4. Blake Whealy - Whealy has the most power potential at second base for the Mets outside of Diaz (if he stays at second base). Whealy plays good defense, has a solid arm, and can steal some bases. He could become a valuable utility player down the road, but needs to cut down on the strikeouts.

You can e-mail writer Christopher Guy at CGGuy86@Yahoo.com


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