Coach Hayes on Padres prospect Orlando Diaz

We were lucky enough to catch up with the baseball coach for Orlando Diaz, Chris Hayes, out of Jacksonville University. Diaz, a 27th round pick, was selected with the 792nd pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft. He has since been assigned to the Eugene Emeralds where the 22 year old is playing third base.

Orlando Diaz is batting .241 in 24 games with Eugene and has already had two hitting streaks of six games or more. He has batted everywhere from third and fifth through eighth in the lineup and has hit best in the number eight hole, a .324 average in 34 at bats. He has also added four doubles, one homer and six RBI's while scoring ten runs.

MadFriars.com: Can you describe Orlando's game a little bit:

Chris Hayes: Aggressive hitter, looks for the ball up. Will expand the zone. Has pull power, gap power opposite field.

MadFriars.com: What are your thoughts about him heading to the Padres organization?

Chris Hayes: We are excited about Orlando joining the Padres organization. We feel he has the ability to become a big leaguer if he can continue to develop as a professional hitter. Defensively, he is the best 3rd baseman we have had in quite a while.

MadFriars.com: What do you think he needs to work on the most in order to prepare for the Major Leagues?

Chris Hayes: Continue to develop his approach at the plate and learn to consistently take advantage of pitchers mistakes.

MadFriars.com: What is your most memorable Orlando Diaz moment or accomplishment while he played for you at Jacksonville?

Chris Hayes: At Georgia St, he went 3-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 2B, Homer.

MadFriars.com: What do you think sets him apart to make him the type of player he has become?

Chris Hayes: Defensively, he makes the routine play and the spectacular play. Outstanding arm. Fights through injuries. He will play hurt.

MadFriars.com: Is there any one piece of advice you would give Orlando as he heads to the Padres organization?

Chris Hayes: Don't get discouraged. Don't get caught up in the stuff that goes on outside the game. Concentrate on your work ethic and your performance between the lines.

MadFriars.com: How would you describe Orlando as a person?

Chris Hayes: Easy going young man that loves the game. Will do whatever he has to.

MadFriars.com: Now that he has begun his professional career, what is he feeling?

Chris Hayes: Orlando is delighted. He has been waiting for this opportunity his entire life.

MadFriars.com: Does Orlando possess good speed and does he run the bases well? Does he have a good arm and good range? Will he remain a 3B at the professional level, or do you think he can or will play another position?

Chris Hayes: He has average speed (professionally). He can steal a base occasionally and can score from 1st on a 2B. He will probably remain at 3rd, but is a good athlete and could play the corner outfield positions as well as 1st base.


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