Edwin Diaz Scouting Report (2014)
Edwin Diaz opened the fourth inning with four straight fastballs to Cedar Rapids’ third baseman Joel Licon. With a 2-2 count, the Clinton Lumberkings starting pitcher stepped off the mound momentarily. Returning, he shook off catcher Marcus Littlewood three times and began his delivery with conviction, getting Licon swinging on an 85-mph slider. When Tanner Vavra dug in next, Diaz shook off Littlewood again on four consecutive pitches, all sliders. Vavra also struck out swinging on an 85-mph slider, Diaz’ 82nd and final pitch of the afternoon.
After going 2-2 to Licon, Diaz knew he didn’t have time to waste anymore fastballs (68 of his first 77 pitches were fastballs). He struggled controlling the heater all day, leading to a career-high five walks. Though he only threw the slider 14 times, the pitch is clearly Diaz’s out pitch. The right-handed pitcher for the Seattle Mariners’ Low-A Clinton team throws the 82-88 mph slider with quick horizontal movement that usually catches just enough of the plate to induce a swing. When the slider missed, it was always down. It was clearly his best pitch.
However, fastball location eluded him all game. The side-to-side, sinking movement on the pitch was impressive. But the Puerto Rico native couldn’t harness it. It was the culprit behind his worst start of the season as he labored through 3 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs. Control will remain a major developmental emphasis for Diaz, who after five starts is at 5.16 BB/9. On the other hand, He’s striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings and has yet to surrender a HR.
At 6-foot-2, 178 pounds, the 20-year-old Diaz still has plenty of physical projection remaining. Tall, slim and athletic, Diaz is composed and confident on the mound. He begins his delivery from the stretch on the far first base side of the rubber and generally throws from a 3/4 arm slot, though the arm angle varied and will need to become more consistent. He dropped his slot down a few times, producing a bit more crossfire action in his delivery. At times, he fell off the mound towards first base. So while he has a clean delivery and a quick arm, the fine points of his mechanics are inconsistent and he paid for it in this game.
Edwin Diaz requires little physical effort with his fastball, sitting in the 90-94 mph and touching 96 with natural cutting movement — reminiscent of his slider. The ball starts in to right-handed batters and slices back over the plate. He held the velocity, hitting 93 with his last fastball of the game. As his body fills out and command improves, the fastball will become a future above average to plus offering with even more velocity.
Whether Diaz reaches his ceiling of a second or third starting pitcher depends on how well he can use the fastball to set up the slider. Without fastball command, the arsenal plays down. Diaz only threw fastballs and sliders in this outing. The development of a change-up as a third pitch helps complete the starter profile. Without it, Diaz has the floor of a late inning reliever.
TOOL PRESENT FUTURE PROJECTED ROLE #3 Starter on 1st Division Team or Late Inning RP Fastball 40 60 Slider 45 65 Control 30 50 Command 30 50
Owning Edwin Diaz
As a fringe Top-100 prospect, owning Diaz is justifiable in any format. Even if his control/command projection do not fully come around, Diaz has a potentially lethal two-pitch mix that mitigates his risk of becoming a bust. At worst, he will settle in as a late-inning reliever. Edwin Diaz will be 20 all season in the Midwest League and will have plenty of opportunities to get a handle on his stuff, so he’s got time to work towards his ceiling.
2 May 2014 / Bob Usselman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?