RockHounds' Diaz has career night

A's prospect smacks pair of homers, drives in seven runs

Edwin Diaz is batting .289 with three homers and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games. (Lance Carter/MiLB.com)

By Dan Stokes / MiLB.com | August 17, 2019 12:15 AM

Although Edwin Diaz may not have standout numbers against Corpus Christi this season, he's been scorching the ball recently. On Friday, he enjoyed a career night.

The A's prospect blasted two homers -- a grand slam and a three-run shot -- and drove in seven runs to power Double-A Midland to an 8-0 romp over the Hooks at Whataburger Field.

Video: Diaz blasts second tater of game

Diaz struck out on three pitches in the second inning, but he bounced back in a big way in his next at-bat. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the 23-year-old launched a 1-1 offering from second-ranked Astros prospect Forrest Whitley (0-1) over the left field fence for his second grand slam of the season. 

In 15 at-bats with the bases juiced, Diaz is batting .400 with 19 RBIs. 

After drawing a walk in the fourth, the 2013 15th-round pick went yard again. With two on and two out in the sixth, Diaz drove a 2-2 pitch from right-hander Erasmo Pinales well over the fence in left for his 13th long ball of the season. It capped the scoring.

"He got two mistakes tonight and he handled them," RockHounds hitting coach Tommy Everidge said. "He had a huge night. He's starting to really put things together over the last month." 

In August, Diaz is batting .259/.377/.552 with four long balls, 17 RBIs and 11 runs scored in 15 games. 

"He's finally coming out and playing. He's got the confidence to consistently hit," Everidge said. "He's still learning to continue to hit the hangers and fight off breaking balls. I think when he's ready for the fastball, he doesn't let the previous pitch affect him. And when he sees his pitch, he's going to jump on it."


Gameday box score


Facing righty Nick Hernandez in the eighth, the Puerto Rico native popped to shortstop. 

Everidge, one of seven players in Texas League history with at least 10 RBIs in a game, accomplished the feat on May 26, 2008. He said he was looking forward to seeing Diaz get close. 

"I wanted everyone to get on in front of him," the hitting coach said with a laugh. "It be pretty cool. I wanted him to break it." 

Diaz topped his previous career high of five RBIs, set with Class A Advanced Stockton on July 28, 2018. It was his first multi-homer game since July 31, 2018, also in the California League.

Everidge said he believes Diaz's success has come from his growing confidence. 

"He keeps things simple," the coach said. "When he gets a good swing on the ball, things happen for him. His at-bats are getting better and better. He's still really young, but he's been in the organization for six years. 

"He's been able to mature and build his confidence. It's pretty nice to see it blossom on the field. As the season carries on, he's seeing his hard work pay off as he continues to build."

2019 MiLB include

The right-handed hitter is batting .238/.323/.438 with 65 RBIs and 56 runs scored in 116 games. He leads the Texas League with 32 doubles and shares the top spot with 51 extra-base hits. 

"He's been a top-10 guy in a lot of offensive categories while playing amazing defense for us," Everidge said. "He may be the best defender in the league. His confidence is definitely carrying over from his defense." 

RockHounds starter James Naile (7-7) earned his first win a month, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out two over six innings.

Astros No. 18 prospect J.J. Matijevic doubled and singled for Corpus Christi.

Dan Stokes is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDanStokes. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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