Rays’ Yandy Diaz a 2020 breakout candidate?

By Seth Carter
Yandy Diaz (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Yandy Diaz (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Yandy Diaz (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Even with the minor adjustment last year, he still only hit a homer every 22 at-bats. While that is far better than the 1/265 ratio he had coming in, it’s not setting the world on fire. Over 500 at-bats that average out to 23 home runs.

If you combine his ability to get on base with his ability to blast the ball on the ground or on a rope, Yandy is a breakout candidate in 2020. Perhaps not the 30+ homer guy his muscles portray him to be, but a breakout nonetheless.

The next step for Yandy may not be hitting more flyballs, but more line-drives. Line drives are beautiful.


Medium Hit Line Drives: .719
Soft Hit Line Drives: .664
Hard Hit Line Drives: .632

It doesn’t matter how hard you hit a line drive, it’s a hit more often than not. Yandy’s swing plays more to line drives than popping sky-high home runs.

The Rays seem to like the type of hitter he is, considering he was hitting leadoff in the wild card game when he blasted the two opposite-field home runs. They understand and love his ability to get on base...the home runs are a spectacular bonus.

I’ll go back to Kevin Cash’s quote from Spring Training last year:

"“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.”"

Translation: You do you, boo. 

The Rays knew he should be hitting some home runs but I think they are okay if he’s not the next Aaron Judge. They like Yandy for Yandy.

Of course, if he takes the next step and finds a comfortable upward-launch angle, then he might hit some balls through the top of the Trop. Either way, he’s a force to be reckoned with for the 2020 Rays.

Next. Rays' bounce-back hitters in 2020. dark

What do you think about Yandy’s 2020 prospects? Will he convert his heightened fly-ball ratio into more home runs? Let us know in the comments below!