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Tampa Bay Rays 2020 Fantasy Profile: Yandy Diaz

Yandy Diaz (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Yandy Diaz (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Yandy Diaz  (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Yandy Diaz  (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Yes, he hits hard…so what?

Yandy Diaz- The Rays are low on right-handed hitters, particularly power hitters. The most recent signing of international free agent, Yoshi Tsutsugo meant another left-handed bat. Diaz came to the Rays last season with one career home run, despite being one of the most prolific hard hitters in the game.

The Rays helped him with minor adjustments to his swing and he rewarded their faith in his power with 14 home runs in 307 at-bats and a .476 slugging percentage. After missing two months, he reappeared in the AL Wild Card game and clubbed two homers to the opposite field.

Diaz finished tied for 23rd in the league in average exit velocity with 91.7 mph. He lowered his groundball rate to just over 50%, which was a pretty significant decrease for Diaz. Many of his homers are frozen rope line drives that would shave the hair off your head if you were in the stands.

The Rays didn’t seem to want to make him the next 45 home run guy. A part of what they loved about him was his ability to hit hard and get on base. Diaz’s attempts at finding the power stroke led to a decreased batting average and on-base percentage. He had around a 32% flyball rate with a relatively low HR/FB rate. If a flyball doesn’t leave the yard then it is generally an out.

Splits

With the Rays being short on right-handed hitters, Yandy has a chance to cement himself as the everyday third baseman. The Rays love analytics, that’s how they stay competitive on such a slight payroll. Yandy proved last season that he could hang with both left and right-handed pitching. Of course, he destroyed left-handed pitching to the tune of .311/.393/.583 (five-freakin’-eighty three) but he was very usable against righties.

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