If Isan Díaz keeps up his production for Triple-A New Orleans, he could soon be taking his talents to South Beach.The Marlins' No. 6 prospect went 4-for-4 with three extra-base hits, four RBIs and two runs scored in the Baby Cakes' 9-7 win over Oklahoma City on Friday at Chickasaw
If Isan Díaz keeps up his production for Triple-A New Orleans, he could soon be taking his talents to South Beach.
The Marlins' No. 6 prospect went 4-for-4 with three extra-base hits, four RBIs and two runs scored in the Baby Cakes' 9-7 win over Oklahoma City on Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Diaz, who smacked a homer that traveled an estimated 477 feet, has multiple hits in four of his last seven games, batting 11-for-25 (.440) during that span.
"I'm just trying to stay consistent to the point where my mind and my body all work as one," Diaz said. "Try to keep it as simple as possible. I haven't tried to overdo anything, just take what the game gives me. I was fortunate to come out with four hits and, even more importantly, that we came out with the win."
The 23-year-old's massive blast off Dodgers right-hander Brock Stewart (2-6) in the first inning was his 17th homer of the year, bringing him three shy of the career high set in 2016 with Class A Wisconsin.
Diaz singled to center field in the third and led off the fifth with a double to center, scoring on Lewis Brinson's homer. The Puerto Rico native knocked another two-bagger in the sixth, plating Magneuris Sierra and Austin Dean. He was intentionally walked in the eighth.
Gameday box score
The four-hit effort was Diaz's first since April 26, 2018, with Double-A Jacksonville. He entered Friday with a .313/.389/.650 slash line in 80 June at-bats and earlier in the day was named to the National League roster for the All-Star Futures Game, which will be held July 7 at Cleveland's Progressive Field.
"Just to be in that big league atmosphere, to get a feel of what it's like," Diaz said, "is going to be amazing."
Diaz is most looking forward to sharing the experience with his family, which will join him for the exhibition. Until then, he'll try to finish out a first half that has been a vast improvement from his first stint in Triple-A. He hit .204 with three home runs in 36 games with the Baby Cakes to end 2018.
Then, during Spring Training, Diaz heard comparisons to Mets second baseman Robinson Canó. Diaz's raw power is 50-grade, and Cano has hit 315 homers in his career. They play the same position. The similarity, at least in profile, is there.
The production, however, was not. Diaz went 2-for-22 in Major League camp. He struck out 10 times and drew four walks. He credits his coaches with helping him forget who he can be like and focus more on who he can become.
"I try to just be myself," he said. "I try to be Isan Diaz."
Right now, Diaz is a Baby Cake. But he is on Miami's 40-man roster. His position at second base is occupied on the big league club by Starlin Castro, who has started every game for the Fish and has posted a -1.1 fWAR. The Marlins' 31-49 record is last in the National League. A chance to move from Louisiana to Florida could come around this summer.
Marlins No. 22 prospect Robert Dugger (1-0) picked up the win for New Orleans in his second Pacific Coast League start, despite surrendering seven runs on 10 hits across five innings. The right-hander struck out two, walked two and hit his first career triple.
Left-hander Brian Moran and righty R.J. Alvarez followed with hitless relief. Moran struck out five in three innings, while Alvarez fanned two in the ninth to earn his 11th save.
Tenth-ranked Dodgers prospect DJ Peters did much of the damage for Oklahoma City, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs in his second game since a promotion from Double-A Tulsa.
Joe Bloss is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jtbloss.