Jordan Diaz Shows Added Power At High-A
Ever since the Athletics signed a 16-year-old Jordan Diaz in 2016 from Colombia, they knew he could hit. And for the last five seasons, he has just been getting better.
“He can really hit,” A’s farm director Ed Sprague said. “His story is all about the bat. He probably has some of the best bat-to-ball skills in the organization.”
Diaz is a plus hitter, and the expectation is that he will grow into solid power potential. At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, he is a strong, stocky player who can become a force with the bat.
“He’s been around so long that we forget that he’s only 20 years old,” Sprague said with a chuckle.
Diaz has made a big impression at High-A Lansing, where he was hitting .278 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs through his first 65 games.
The big question for his future will be his defense.
“He has to learn to love defense,” Sprague said. “We’re giving him a chance to play third, and at times he has been pretty good. The hands are there. The glove’s there. The arm’s there.”
Diaz has also spent time at first base, but becoming an effective third baseman would greatly enhance his chances of advancement. He has been working with infield coach Juan Navarrete to improve his defense. Diaz has average arm strength and is a below-average runner.
Diaz had a stop in the Dominican Republic before coming to the U.S., and he has been progressing ever since. He has been young for the level at every stop, while showing hitting prowess. He played for Colombia in the Caribbean Series last winter and hit .368 with three doubles and four RBIs in five games.
What does Diaz now need to advance?
“Just playing time,” Sprague said. “The year off didn’t help anybody. He has to work on focus and concentration and preparing to play every day.”
There's a lot of work left to be done, but Diaz shows the early indications that he could develop into a big leaguer.
— Righty starter Jack Cushing got off to a big start with Low-A Stockton, then jumped to High-A Lansing and put up a 1.50 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in his first four appearances.
“He’s had a little velocity uptick, and he’s learning how to pitch,” Sprague said.
Cushing has hit 93 mph this year after topping out at 90 in 2019. He is a 24-year-old from the baseball mecca of Flower Mound, Texas.