We’re reviewing all 316 players to appear at any level of Houston Astros baseball in 2022.
Aledmys Díaz is a six-foot-one, 195 lb. right-handed infielder from Santa Clara, Cuba. Born on August 1, 1990, he signed his first professional deal on March 9, 2014, a four-year, $8 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Díaz made quick work of the minor leagues, making his major league debut with the Cardinals on April 5, 2016. He played in 111 games for his rookie season, and even made the National League All-Star team with his solid performance at the plate (.300/.369/.510 with 17 jacks and 65 RBI). After another year with the Birds, Díaz joined the Toronto Blue Jays via trade for J.B. Woodman on December 1, 2017.
While Woodman never made it past the High-A level, Díaz continued to rake in the majors. He hit .263/.303/.453 in 130 games for Toronto. On November 17, 2018, the Jays sent Díaz off to Houston for Trent Thornton.
Díaz’ first three seasons with the Astros would see him post a just barely above MLB-average figures, with a 103 OPS+. He slashed .262/.326/.436 in 170 contests for Houston, with 20 home runs and 91 RBI. He also was decent at not striking out an exorbitant amount of times, with a whiff rate of 16.3 percent and a 6.9 percent walk-rate.
The 2022 campaign would open for Díaz hitting a home run in his first appearance, a 13-6 win against the Anaheim Angels on April 8. Diaz added a single, finishing the game with a pair of RBI. In 92 appearances in total, Díaz finished with multiple hits on 19 occasion, including five three-hit games. In a 6-5 win against the Angels on July 12, he opened his night with a two-run first inning home run, and later added a single and a pair of walks. On July 29, he hit two solo home runs in an 11-1 triumph against the Seattle Mariners.
Overall, Díaz posted a .243/.287/.403 slashline and an OPS+ of just 95. Not embarrassing by any means, but not what we would have hoped for, to be sure. He hit a dozen home runs with 38 RBI, drew 18 walks and struck out 53 times in 327 PA.
Defensively, Díaz more than earned his way, appearing at every position that was not up the middle (P, C, CF). He played 188 2⁄3 frames in left field, where he was 21 runs better than the average left fielder prorated over 1200 innings (by Total Zone Fielding runs). He also played 166 innings at second base, and was rated 27 runs above average by the same measure. He made zero errors in 57 chances at the spot. He played 144 innings at shortstop with a .966 fielding percentage, 71 frames at third base with no errors in nine chances, 45 innings at first base with 47 chances and no errors, and three innings in right field.
Sure, Díaz was slightly below average with the splinter, but not so much so that the Astros wouldn’t want to use him everywhere they could. After the regular season, Díaz went one-for-22 through the three playoff series on Houston’s run to the World Series Championship. Granted free agency on November 6, the Oakland Athletics signed him to a two-year, $14.5 million deal. Houston will see Díaz again for the first time when the A’s visit Minute Maid Park for a three-game set on May 19.