Atlanta Braves 3B: Top 10 Trade Targets to Track in 2020

Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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Yandy Diaz (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

5. Yandy Diaz

Yandy Diaz has ranked among the game’s hardest hitters over the past few seasons. Last season he averaged 91.7 MPH off the bat, which was good for 23rd best in all of baseball.

Only 22 players were hitting the ball harder than Yandy, on average. This is why his lack of power has been confounding front offices and fans for years.

In five full minor league seasons and 2,247 PAs, Yandy has a total of 26 homers. That’s a ratio of one homer every 72 ABs.

Prior to the 2019 season, he had logged 256 major-league at-bats and registered exactly one home run. Not good.

Why? Yandy has a groundball problem. Last year was his lowest groundball percentage of his career and it was still over 50% of his batted balls. The thing is, he hits it so hard that he still hits for a solid average. Yandy Diaz is also an on-base machine.

On-Base Percentages

76 games in A+: .396
158 games in AA: .417
282 games in AAA: .415
167 games in MLB: .350

The Rays traded for him the last offseason and worked their magic. They didn’t try to revamp his entire swing, they worked on one minor adjustment. They liked Yandy’s ability to hit the ball to all fields, hit it hard, and get on-base.

Here’s what Rays’ manager, Kevin Cash had to say about Yandy’s swing last spring.

"“We’re not messing with his hitting. We think he’s going to hit. Regardless of [if] it’s on the ground, in the air, a line drive. he’ll hit.”"