The San Diego Padres have a very deep farm system.
More often that not, names get completely lost in the shuffle.
One name that might need to be remembered entirely is that of 23-year-old Miguel Diaz. The former Rule-5 pick is not technically a rookie, as he spent the entire 2017 season on the club’s major league roster, but he is very young with a promising future.
The Padres have been stretching out the right handed pitcher this entire minor league season. His pitch count has climbed, as the team prepares the Dominican pitcher for the rigors of being a major league caliber starting pitcher. He could be given an opportunity eventually with the team in 2018.
In 2017, Diaz did make three starts for the team. The right handed did not go over four innings in any start nor did he throw over 72 pitches for the Friars. The team wisely played it safe with him during the season. In all honesty, he was getting roughed up being that it was his first tour of duty in the major leagues.
On Friday, I asked Andy Green about Diaz before the game.
Miguel Diaz went five innings on Thursday for the Missions and completed 60 pitches in the outing. In asking Green about Diaz, this was his response. “He will still be stretched out. The big key for him was that he didn’t walk anyone last night. Walks have been an issue for him. If he gets that under control and pounds the zone like he did yesterday, then he is going to have a chance to get back with us.” Diaz is surely capable of being a major league pitcher, but the walks are a huge issue. He has issued 32 free passes this year in 51 innings pitched between San Antonio and El Paso.
Green reiterated that the right hander needs to attack hitters. “Command is a huge thing for him. He has unbelievable stuff, but you gotta fill up the strike zone better than he has.” The truth is Diaz still has hurdles to surpass the be back with the team. He is working hard, but does need to refine his mechanics a bit.
Here is Miguel Diaz’ first major league strikeout in 2017.
A 98 mph sinking fastball on the corner is unhittable. Diaz has a plus fastball and the movement he can get on his sinker is devastating to a prospective batter.
The stuff is very solid and I asked Austin Hedges before the game Friday about Diaz. He caught the pitcher several times last season and is very familiar with his stuff. “He is a really good kid. I think he is going to be a star at the big league level. He has an amazing arm. Miguel Diaz the person is even more impressive. He is a really good dude and a really good teammate.” That is awesome to hear from the young backstop as he roots for a young man who could help the team eventually down the road.
Diaz has impressive stuff. Hedges and I went into it for a bit. “That fastball of his has tremendous life and movement. He has a change that he can throw for strikes when he wants to. He has a very bright future.” It should only be a matter of time before the hurler is back in San Diego. The Padres are stocked with talent and Miguel Diaz could be a positive addition to the pitching staff at some point in 2018.