Diaz was named to the HWB's All-Star team, which was released Monday. Also joining Diaz on the roster was fellow Red Sox farmhand Daniel Bard, who was named a reliever on the squad.
Diaz battled for the HWB batting crown until the final day of the season and finished with a .358 average, second to Honolulu Sharks teammate Brandon Snyder (.387). Diaz did finish first in the HWB in on-base percentage (.421) and second in hits (38).
Diaz' good fortune continued Tuesday, when the Sox added him to the 40-man major league roster. As a veteran of four professional seasons, Diaz would have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft had the Sox not placed him on the 40-man roster this month.
Diaz, whom the Sox signed as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2003, hit .270 with two homers and 40 RBI for low Single-A Greenville this season. He was not ranked in Diehard's 2007 prospect issue.
Bard honored: A difficult 2007 ended on a positive note for Bard, who contended for the HWB ERA crown until the final week of the season and finished fourth with a 1.08 ERA. Bard enjoyed a 13 1/3 inning scoreless streak that was snapped in his penultimate appearance. He was the only American-based pitcher on the HWB All-Star staff.
Bard wasn't perfect in Hawaii, where he walked 15, hit five batters and struck out 15 in 16 2/3 innings, but he allowed just eight hits and limited opposing batters to a .140 average. During the regular season with Greenville and high Single-A Lancaster, Bard walked 78 and struck out just 47 in 75 innings.
The success in the bullpen may open another avenue for Bard, whose struggles this season—he was 3-7 with a 7.08 ERA between Greenville and Lancaster—put his future as a starter into serious doubt. Bard was selected by the Sox out of North Carolina with the 28th pick of the 2006 draft. Because he didn't make his professional debut last season, he was not ranked in Diehard's 2007 prospect issue.
Carter also added to roster: Diaz was joined as a newcomer to the 40-man roster by first baseman Chris Carter, whom the Sox acquired from the Nationals as the player to be named later in the Wily Mo Pena trade in August. Carter was dealt to the Nationals by the Diamondbacks immediately before he was shipped to the Sox.
Carter hit .234 with one homer and four RBI for Triple-A Pawtucket following the deal. He hit .324 with 18 homer and 84 RBI for Tucson, the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate, prior to the deal. At the time of the trade, FutureBacks.com—Scout.com's Diamondbacks site—had him as the top-ranked prospect in the organization.
Carter is enjoying an impressive winter ball season in Venezuela, where he's hitting .375 with three homers and 22 RBI in 31 games for La Guaira. He ranks second in the Venezuela Winter League in batting average and third in RBI.
Once newly re-signed Mike Lowell is officially added to the 40-man roster, the Sox will have 38 players on their 40-man roster.
Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at email@example.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752. To subscribe to Diehard or diehardmagazine.com, please CLICK HERE
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