The Oakland A’s have been waiting for Jordan Diaz to develop into the type of player that could stick at a corner infield spot. He showed a strong approach at the plate and a knack for putting the bat on the ball, but his lack of power led to questions about his future position. He did not have the profile, nor the arm, for a corner infielder, and his lack of speed made him a questionable fit at second.
That made the 2021 season all the more important for Diaz. He had a slow start to the year, struggling in the power department, and even having issues making contact. However, that has started to change, as Diaz finally heated up in July.
Jordan Diaz finally having his breakout
Diaz’s hot stretch has continued into August. After hitting a homer on Thursday, he had a two home run game on Friday as the power is beginning to manifest. With that contest, he now has a solid .280/.335/.494 batting line in his 284 plate appearances in High-A ball, hitting a career best 20 doubles and 11 homers.
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There was no question that Diaz would hit. He has the bat speed and contact skills to produce strong averages regardless of the level that he plays at. However, he profiled more as a spray hitter with gap power at best, someone who could hit plenty of doubles, but not have the home run capability one would want at third.
But it is easy to forget that Diaz is still young. He does not turn 21 years old until August 13, leaving plenty of time for his frame to fill out and for him to develop. At 5’10” and 175 pounds, there is still room for growth and for Diaz to fill out. The power would, hypothetically, come at that point.
And thus far, it has. While 11 homers is not an overly impressive amount, it is an improvement. With his natural ability to put the barrel on the ball and make hard contact, it was seemingly a matter of time before that would manifest into home runs. If these gains continue, Diaz may end up as more than a possible bat first utility man.
Jordan Diaz has begun to hit for more power. He appears to finally be having that breakout that the Oakland A’s have been waiting for.