Aledmys Diaz started 2017 where he left off 2016. A force to be reckoned with.
As the rest of the offense stumbled around Busch Stadium, Diaz crushed two long balls off the Reds Saturday driving in 4 and scoring three himself. Add the two stolen bases Opening Night against the Cubs and you can see why he finished fifth last year in the Rookie of the Year vote.
Diaz makes contact, striking out 60 times last year in 460 plate appearances. He is working on his speed as last year, he was caught stealing four times, the same as he stole.
It is too bad we will not see Turner as Diaz is part of the next generation of powerful shortstops who play the game smart. In his rookie campaign, he slugged 17 home runs and 28 doubles. We will need to wait until they play in St. Louis to see the pair faceoff.
As a defender, Diaz is slightly below average. His range factor-per-nine of 3.93 was below last year’s 4.18. Advanced metrics do not show him saving any runs, but his Total Zone Reading of -7 is not terrible. Fourth in errors last year with 16, he has committed none this year.
Diaz struggled his rookie year against the Nats. In seven games, he hit .182 with a solo homer. Nats pitching fanned him five times.