The Christian Yelich deal is starting to look really good for the Marlins. While giving up an MVP hurts, especially considering Yelich is a candidate to win the award again this year, the Marlins are already seeing the assets they acquired pay off. Jordan Yamamoto has been terrific thus far, striking out more than a batter an inning and allowing two runs or less in six of his nine starts. Lewis Brinson has struggled in his two stints thus far with the Marlins, but has been dominating for the New Orleans Baby Cakes this year. He has put up sixteen homers and stolen bases, each, and has a .861 OPS in 81 games. Brinson will get his third chance for the Fish, as he has been called up to replace the injured Cesar Puello.
A third player involved in the Yelich deal was Isan Diaz. To put it simply, Diaz has been tormenting pitching in Triple-A. The reason it has taken this long for Diaz to get called up was that Starlin Castro blocked him at second-base. There were rumors that Castro would be moved at the deadline to create space for Diaz. That obviously didn’t happen, but the Marlins could no longer deny just how dominant Diaz has been in the minors. Castro has been practicing at third — despite never playing third in his career — just to create space for Diaz to play.
Isan Diaz is the Marlins number-five prospect and eighty-sixth overall according to MLB.com, and according to Fangraphs ranked sixth for the Marlins and eighty-ninth overall. So far, his numbers have lived up to the hype. Diaz has hit twenty-six homers to go along with a .305/.395/.578 slash line. He makes use of every tool in his belt, which includes a fifty or better scouting grade across all categories and a fifty-five overall grade. His power may his best tool, but Diaz also runs well. He hasn’t quite taken advantage of this tool, with only five stolen bases, but Diaz should provide a good mix of power and speed.
Beyond just his stats and scouting grades, advanced metrics support that Diaz should have a lot of success in the majors. He has hit to a 132 wRC+ and a .403 wOBA in 102 games. Additionally, Diaz has a ridiculous 28.9% home run to fly ball rate, which is nearly double the major league average of 15.1% in 2019. His .349 BABIP is also really good. All of this points to what should be continued success in the majors.
The Marlins may not be having a great season, and they may not even be ready to win in 2020, but this is the start of what could be a potent lineup in the upcoming years. The Diaz call up will provide a great glimpse into the future, and should inspire a lot of hope for Marlins fans. The future is very bright in Miami. And Isan Diaz is a big reason why.
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