Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

What do the Twins have in Jake Cave?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:25 AM
I know SSS, But he sure seems to pass the eye test so far.
Full topic ›

Article: Week in Review: Breaking Good

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:19 AM
A disappointing first half ended on a high note, with Sunday's walk-off grand slam capping a 9-2 home stand to propel Minnesota into the...
Full topic ›

Article: MIN 11, TB 7: Dozier Grand Slam Ends Wild Game,...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:17 AM
There was an entire season’s worth of moments in just this one game Sunday afternoon at Target Field. A run scored on a balk, there were...
Full topic ›

Twins, Brewers Talking Trades

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:17 AM
Got any favorites in Milwaukee's system?
Full topic ›

Article: Miguel Sano's Struggles

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:29 AM
MIguel Sano has been a hot mess at the plate pretty much all season. Statistically, he has had career highs and lows in all the wrong cat...
Full topic ›

TD Top Prospects: #10 Lewin Diaz

When the Minnesota Twins signed Lewin Diaz for $1.4 million in 2013, he was a 16-year-old kid who was weighing in at a reported 210 pounds. Two years later he had grown to 263 and was being compared to having “Miguel Sano-type” power. That’s certainly intriguing but baseball has seemingly lost interest in the 30-plus home run guys who add no other value. So the question is, can Lewin Diaz provide some other value?
Age: 20 (DOB: 11/19/96)
2015 Stats (Rk): 46 G, .310/.353/.575, 9 HR, 37 RBI
ETA: 2019
2016 Ranking: 18

National Top 100 Rankings
BA: NR | MLB: NR | ESPN: NR | BP: NR

What’s To Like

With the exception of Daniel Palka (our 14th-highest rated prospect in the system), Diaz represents the only source of raw power on Twins Daily’s top prospect list. While the long ball potential is substantial, the baseball industry has started to devalue the power-only players. Teams no longer place a premium on dingers, as evidenced by the offseason employment plight of Chris Carter and former Twins prospect Adam Walker (11th on our list in 2016). With his size, Diaz’s career is limited to a first base or designated hitter role but he has shown signs of being more than an all-or-nothing type of hitter like Walker. Admittedly it was only rookie ball, but Diaz’s .310 average is a mark that Walker never even came close to matching. The Twins believe that Diaz may also be able to provide batting average value (for whatever that’s worth) as well as avoid making regular outs.

What’s Left To Work On

Despite teeming with raw power potential, Diaz hasn’t applied that much in game action until this past season when he hit nine home runs in 187 plate appearances as a 19-year-old in the Appalachian League. That is not out of the norm for prospects -- especially at his age -- but there are some indications that a few tweaks for Diaz could tap into that talent. Big and strong, Diaz’s swing has a solid foundation but his current barrel path doesn’t necessarily lead to towering fly balls which translate into huge home run totals.





When the Twins signed him as a 16-year-old in 2013, Baseball America said that Diaz struggled to “tap into that power in game situations”. The swing is level down to and through the ball and results in plenty of base hits but his power is limited to almost exclusively his pull side. That's not a bad thing, but with his size you would like to see a few more towering flies to the alleys as opposed to just at the right field foul pole. There is time to develop that swing.

What’s Next

Diaz has yet to play over 50 games in a season so that will be his first challenge in 2017. The second is just continuing to produce like he did last year. Remember: At 20 years old this season, Diaz has plenty of time to develop as a player. However, as a 2013 signee, he is starting to get to the point where the Twins will need to consider adding him to the 40-man roster, which makes 2017 an important season.


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

25 Comments

I used to argue against the value so many put on power hitting but now that it seems the pendulum has swung the other way.  What's not to like about Dozier hitting 42 homers or anyone hitting 30?  Is this the guy that's going to replace Mauer in 2 years? What is his defense like?   

    • glunn and d-mac like this
Photo
Deduno Abides
Feb 13 2017 07:16 AM
As a 19-year-old, Diaz had a much better K rate in E-town than Walker did as a 20-year-old there. Diaz also had better ISO, OBP and SLG (actually better than Walker has had at any level).
    • Mike Frasier Law likes this

Hard to see him as #10.  There is not enough track record yet, but I hope you are right and he is going to move fast. 

 

Hard to see him as #10.  There is not enough track record yet, but I hope you are right and he is going to move fast. 

 

"Track Record" is difficult to establish for prospect.  Diaz's track record is 3 pro seasons 136 games and 541 PA; compared to 1 pro season 55 games and 232 PA for Kirilloff and 2 pro seasons, 37 games and 102 IP for Jay. I guess he has a longer "track record" than the other 2.  How do you feel about those?

 

How about Nick Gordon: 3 pro seasons 293 games, 1282 PA.Is that enough sample for a "track record"?

    • Tom Froemming likes this

He's a pretty interesting prospect.  A bit of a lottery ticket but a few lottery tickets have to hit, right?  

 

"Track Record" is difficult to establish for prospect.  Diaz's track record is 3 pro seasons 136 games and 541 PA; compared to 1 pro season 55 games and 232 PA for Kirilloff and 2 pro seasons, 37 games and 102 IP for Jay. I guess he has a longer "track record" than the other 2.  How do you feel about those?

 

How about Nick Gordon: 3 pro seasons 293 games, 1282 PA.Is that enough sample for a "track record"?

 

Correct... Numbers play a very small role in prospect ranking, especially for those in the lowest levels. The numbers there are almost meaningless - though the assumption also should be that the talent and tools will at least somewhat show up in the stats. 

 

I ranked Diaz #6 due to his power potential, but also his athleticism. Told he was pretty nimble around first base. And, he's more than just a power hitter. Obviously that comes with the risk of his size and that he's got a long way to move up still.

Photo
Parker Hageman
Feb 13 2017 09:40 AM
I ranked Diaz #6 due to his power potential, but also his athleticism. Told he was pretty nimble around first base. And, he's more than just a power hitter. Obviously that comes with the risk of his size and that he's got a long way to move up still.

 

 

Correct. Radcliff was high on his athleticism for a guy his size. I'd like to hear from some of the Twins Daily members who are down at camp. If you get a chance to see his infield chops, let us know.

Photo
Parker Hageman
Feb 13 2017 09:41 AM

 

As a 19-year-old, Diaz had a much better K rate in E-town than Walker did as a 20-year-old there. Diaz also had better ISO, OBP and SLG (actually better than Walker has had at any level).

"...but he has shown signs of being more than an all-or-nothing type of hitter like Walker."

    • Seth Stohs likes this
Photo
JaleelWhite FanClub
Feb 13 2017 09:49 AM

Any idea where he'll be playing this season? Cedar Rapids? Or EST and then on to E-town again? My hope for his timetable is the former.

 

Is this the guy that's going to replace Mauer in 2 years?

 

No. He's 19. He would need to shoot up through the high minors at a dizzying pace. He's still 3 years away. Luckily, 1B is not a position of need for the Twins.

Higher than me on Diaz, but not far off in this system.

 

For a 'power-hitting' prospect, it's good to see a .310 average. But I would also point out that Eddie Rosario hit .337 with 21 HR's in that league. Being a more well-rounded hitter is good, but needs to show the "game-power" that is mentioned as lacking in the article before he's in the top 10 for me.

 

Any idea where he'll be playing this season? Cedar Rapids? Or EST and then on to E-town again? My hope for his timetable is the former.

 

No question. He'll start in Cedar Rapids. 

    • glunn likes this

 

Higher than me on Diaz, but not far off in this system.

 

For a 'power-hitting' prospect, it's good to see a .310 average. But I would also point out that Eddie Rosario hit .337 with 21 HR's in that league. Being a more well-rounded hitter is good, but needs to show the "game-power" that is mentioned as lacking in the article before he's in the top 10 for me.

 

Of course, the fences at the stadium in Eizabethton are also quite a bit deeper than they were back then.

 

He's definitely a high-risk prospect, but if he works he has a high ceiling. 

    • D.C Twins likes this

 

Higher than me on Diaz, but not far off in this system.

 

For a 'power-hitting' prospect, it's good to see a .310 average. But I would also point out that Eddie Rosario hit .337 with 21 HR's in that league. Being a more well-rounded hitter is good, but needs to show the "game-power" that is mentioned as lacking in the article before he's in the top 10 for me.

 

I have him as 3rd overall.  

 

I hear that "lack of game-power" and I see a .264 isoP from Diaz, same league same team same year where everyone's latest greatest, Kirilloff, has .146 isoP,  and wonder how people would feel about Kirilloff's dismal game-power, as a comparison.  /sarcasm.

 

Plenty of game power :)

    • Steve Lein and Dantes929 like this

I understand Cedar Rapids, but a part of me would like to see Ft. Myers and get a feel for what he brings, also to try and get him here in 2019 to replace Mauer.

 

Of course, the fences at the stadium in Eizabethton are also quite a bit deeper than they were back then.

 

He's definitely a high-risk prospect, but if he works he has a high ceiling. 

When did the fences change? I looked back several years, and frankly Diaz's results are middling at best compared to other Twins youngsters at Eizabethton.

 

Josmil Pinto, 2009, 20yo, 166 wRC+
Oswaldo Arcia, 2010, 19yo, 197 wRC+
Eddie Rosario, 2011, 19yo, 175 wRC+
Miguel Sano, 2011, 18yo, 153 wRC+
Kennys Vargas, 2011, 20yo, 132 wRC+
Max Kepler, 2012, 19yo, 153 wRC+
Jorge Polanco, 2012, 18yo, 143 wRC+
Travis Harrison, 2012, 19yo, 138 wRC+
Jermaine Palacios, 2015, 18yo, 131 wRC+
Lewin Diaz, 2016, 19yo, 149 wRC+

 

Other than Sano, none of the others managed to hit enough (yet, anyways) to be an above-average 1B/DH option. But if the ballpark characterizations have changed, then maybe it is more meaningful.

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

When did the fences change? I looked back several years, and frankly Diaz's results are middling at best compared to other Twins youngsters at Eizabethton.

 

Josmil Pinto, 2009, 20yo, 166 wRC+
Oswaldo Arcia, 2010, 19yo, 197 wRC+
Eddie Rosario, 2011, 19yo, 175 wRC+
Miguel Sano, 2011, 18yo, 153 wRC+
Kennys Vargas, 2011, 20yo, 132 wRC+
Max Kepler, 2012, 19yo, 153 wRC+
Jorge Polanco, 2012, 18yo, 143 wRC+
Travis Harrison, 2012, 19yo, 138 wRC+
Jermaine Palacios, 2015, 18yo, 131 wRC+
Lewin Diaz, 2016, 19yo, 149 wRC+

 

Other than Sano, none of the others managed to hit enough (yet, anyways) to be an above-average 1B/DH option. But if the ballpark characterizations have changed, then maybe it is more meaningful.

 

2014.  Moved about 10 feet back.  Here is a great writeup of the park before they moved the fences. The Twins (that actually own that club) got the City to approve a budget to further renovate.  As you can tell that ballpark is a mess... 

    • markos and D.C Twins like this

 

Of course, the fences at the stadium in Eizabethton are also quite a bit deeper than they were back then.

 

He's definitely a high-risk prospect, but if he works he has a high ceiling. 

 

When did they renovate? Hadn't heard that. I remember hearing the Twins pulled their support of a new renovation last year, but not anything about a renovation/re-configuring happening in the years prior.

 

Edit: And I see Thrylos has answered that already.

Photo
Deduno Abides
Feb 13 2017 12:16 PM

"...but he has shown signs of being more than an all-or-nothing type of hitter like Walker."


Definitely. And the K rate, ISO, OBP and SLG are good signs. Good write-up. Better prospect than ABW3.

Thanks for sharing that article Thrylos. Fascinating. You would think the Twins could afford to send a million that way some day for some upgrades and amenities.

 

Photo
Bob Sacamento
Feb 14 2017 10:05 AM

 

Correct. Radcliff was high on his athleticism for a guy his size. I'd like to hear from some of the Twins Daily members who are down at camp. If you get a chance to see his infield chops, let us know.

For someone who's his size, at this point I'm guessing 6'4 and at least 220lbs (not his last listed at 6'3 180 on milb), he moves well around the bag.  When I saw him in GCL 2015/Extended Spring 2016,  he didn't have eye popping range but at least moved well laterally to his glove side.  On the bag, he provided a big target while scooping at a modest rate and providing a plus arm at first.  

 

At the plate, he challenges ABW for the longest homeruns I've seen hit on the backfields whether in batting practice, intrasquad, or game play.  What I've always liked about him is that he seemingly has an approach at the plate, he's not afraid to take a count deep looking for his pitch.  He looks like he's finally starting to look leaner and getting some of that "baby fat" the scouts call it off

    • Parker Hageman likes this
Photo
Parker Hageman
Feb 14 2017 10:25 AM

 

For someone who's his size, at this point I'm guessing 6'4 and at least 220lbs (not his last listed at 6'3 180 on milb), he moves well around the bag.  When I saw him in GCL 2015/Extended Spring 2016,  he didn't have eye popping range but at least moved well laterally to his glove side.  On the bag, he provided a big target while scooping at a modest rate and providing a plus arm at first.  

 

At the plate, he challenges ABW for the longest homeruns I've seen hit on the backfields whether in batting practice, intrasquad, or game play.  What I've always liked about him is that he seemingly has an approach at the plate, he's not afraid to take a count deep looking for his pitch.  He looks like he's finally starting to look leaner and getting some of that "baby fat" the scouts call it off

 

Good info. Thanks for sharing.

 

Thanks for sharing that article Thrylos. Fascinating. You would think the Twins could afford to send a million that way some day for some upgrades and amenities.

 

It is complicated and it is turned into a saga of sorts.  This is the latest. The park is owned by the City. Even the GM of the team is a city employee.  The Twins threatened of leaving and the city finally approved $3.2M for the renovations necessary (read:  Pretty much a whole rebuild) but there is still back an forth and whining from the locals. Interesting story to follow.  The Twins will play there in 2017, but nothing is set in stone for 2018. Part of the problem is that Elizabethton is a small town of 15,000 people or so.

 

 

I have him as 3rd overall.

I hear that "lack of game-power" and I see a .264 isoP from Diaz, same league same team same year where everyone's latest greatest, Kirilloff, has .146 isoP, and wonder how people would feel about Kirilloff's dismal game-power, as a comparison. /sarcasm.

Plenty of game power :)


Kiriloff isn't destined to be a DH, is he?

 

Kiriloff isn't destined to be a DH, is he?

 

Maybe.Lower fielding percentage than Sano at RF this season and fewer stolen bases as well.

 

Kirillof's fielding tool is not that great either....


Similar Articles


by Tom Froemming , 09 Jul 2018
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 06 Jul 2018
Photo


by Eric R Pleiss , 22 Jun 2018
Photo


by Parker Hageman , 21 Jun 2018
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 18 Jun 2018
Photo