Sep. 18: The A’s have announced the promotion of Diaz, with outfielder Ramón Laureano headed to the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain in a corresponding move. The severity of the injury isn’t clear, but with just over two weeks remaining on the schedule, it’s possible that Laureano’s season is over. He returned from serving an 80-game PED suspension in May and has hit .211/.287/.376 this year with 13 home runs and 11 stolen bases.
Sep. 17: The Athletics are preparing to call up prospect Jordan Diaz, according to Daniel Alvarez-Montes of El Extrabase (Twitter link). Oakland already added Diaz to the 40-man roster during the offseason, so they’ll just need to make one move to add Diaz to the active roster.
The 22-year-old Diaz will be making his Major League debut, six years after signing with the A’s for a fairly modest $275K bonus during the 2016-17 international signing period. After showing flashes of his potential at the plate in 2017-19, Diaz returned from the lost 2020 minor league season to hit .288/.337/.484 with 13 homers over 365 plate appearances at high-A ball in 2021. Beginning 2022 in Double-A, Diaz has just kept on hitting, with a combined .326/.366/.515 slash line with 19 home runs at Double-A Midland (407 PA) and Triple-A Las Vegas (120 PA).
This hitting prowess has been Diaz’s calling card, with evaluators impressed by his polish and his increasing power, though he doesn’t take walks all that often. Diaz has yet to settle into a defensive role, as he began his career as a third baseman but has increasingly seen more time at first base (plus a handful of games as a second base and left fielder). If Diaz is just a first base/DH-only type, he’ll need to deliver even more at the plate to make up for these defensive limitations. The A’s will probably give him at look at both corner infield spots over the final two weeks of the regular season.
MLB Pipeline ranks Diaz eighth on its list of Oakland’s top prospects, while Baseball America is a bit less bullish in rating Diaz 17th. Also of note, BA’s scouting report writes that “opposing teams have coveted Diaz in trade talks in the past,” so it’s fair to assume that rival scouts will be paying some extra attention to Diaz’s first exposure to Major League pitching. The rebuilding A’s are more in a position to be adding rather than subtracting any quality youngsters from their organization, though Billy Beane’s front office has been known to swing some creative deals.