Continuing our prospect spotlight throughout the Minnesota Twins organization, we shift our focus to a comeback player of the year candidate in Lewin Diaz.
Signed in July 2013 by the Minnesota Twins, Lewin Diaz was the 10th ranked international prospect according to MLB.com. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Diaz was noted as being a relatively raw power hitting prospect. With the right guidance Diaz has the ability to be a dominant first baseman for years to come.
Like many trying to make it to the show, Diaz has had his fair share of ups and downs. Diaz finished his 2016 rookie ball campaign with a .310 batting average and followed that up with a very respectable .292 average at single-A Cedar Rapids in 2017.
2018 was quite a tumultuous year for the young first baseman. His year ended in late July thanks to a broken right thumb and to make matters worse, he was only slashing .224/.255/.344 in 79 games with 6 home runs and 35 runs batted in. Though not an ideal way to break out of a slump, the injury seemed to give Diaz the time needed to get back on the right track. After all, baseball is as mental a sport as any sport out there.
Simply put, Diaz is raking at the plate to start the 2019 season. With a current slash line of .319/.349/.577 in 43 games, he already has 21 extra base hits with 10 doubles, 1 triple, and 10 home runs. This is the kind of production that has to excite a lot throughout the Twins organization.
After being a highly rated prospect in the Minnesota Twins minor-league ranks, Diaz is currently absent from the Twins top-30 prospects list according to MLB.com. As long as Diaz continues to crush baseballs for the Fort Myers Miracle, you can expect that to change by the end of the year.
Fielding doesn’t always come naturally to 6’4″ 225 pound first baseman but Lewin does a very admirable job considering his prowess at the plate. So far this year, he has committed zero errors, something not typically seen with power hitting first basemen. Unfortunately, with only 5 stolen bases in 380 total games played, don’t expect him to be a speed demon. Yet, when you’re putting the ball off and over the outfield wall, that’s not exactly an area of concern.
Though only at high-A Fort Myers and being 22 years old, I expect Diaz to be on a fast-track to the MLB as long as he keeps producing. A few more weeks of mashing the baseball could easily earn him a call-up to the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Keep an eye out for this under-the-radar stud, I know I sure will.