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Oops! All Astros: Tommy DeJuneas & Yainer Diaz

We’re reviewing all 316 players to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.

Oakland Athletics v. Houston Astros Photo by Michael Starghill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We’re reviewing all 316 players to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.

Tommy DeJuneas

Tommy DeJuneas is a six-foot-one, 210 lb. right-handed relief pitcher from Charlotte, NC. Born on October 24, 1995, he was picked in the 26th round of the 2017 draft by the Cleveland Indians, with the 792nd overall choice out of NC State. The only player to make the major leagues after getting drafted at that spot is David Hensley (0.3 WAR). Players out of NC State comprise 169 draft picks and 27 eventual major leaguers, led by Trea Turner (29.7 WAR).

DeJuneas remained in Cleveland’s system for a calendar year, then found himself traded to Houston’s system on July 6, 2018 for James Hoyt.

With the exception of 2020, DeJuneas spent his time after the trade between the High-A and the Double-A level, pitching a total of 105 innings between the two levels. He opened the 2022 season with the High-A Asheville Tourists.

DeJuneas pitched in two games for the Tourists in April, walking five in 2 23 innings. He didn’t allow any hits, and he struck one batter out, but he allowed one earned run over that time. On May 15, he visited the injured list for the remainder of the season. Reactivated on September 25, he’s still on Asheville’s roster.

Yainer Diaz

Yainer Díaz is a six-foot, 195 lb. right-handed catcher from Azua, DR. Born on September 21, 1998, he signed his first professional contract on December 7, 2016 with the Cleveland Indians. At the 2021 trade deadline, Cleveland traded him along with Phil Maton to the Astros for Myles Straw.

Díaz is currently Houston’s number three prospect, according to MLB Pipeline:

Diaz features plus arm strength to keep the running game in check. He caught just 148 games through his age-22 season, so his inexperience sometimes shows with his receiving and blocking, but he’s on course to become an average defender behind the plate. - MLB Pipeline

In his first two weeks after the trade, Díaz went nine-for-44 with a home run in 11 contests with the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Promoted to the High-A Asheville Tourists in mid-August, he finished the season on an absolute rampage, slashing .396/.438/.781 through his final 25 games. He had 11 home runs over that short span, with 33 RBI and a 1.219 OPS.

Promoted to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks to begin the 2022 campaign, Díaz proved his final month of 2021 wasn’t a fluke. On Opening Day, April 8, he started the season with a single and a triple for four RBI in a 14-2 win over the San Antonio Missions. It was the first of four four-RBI games for Díaz through the year, and his first of 44 multi-hit games. Slashing .316/.367/.504 with nine homers and 48 RBI after 57 games, the Astros promoted Díaz to the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys in mid-June.

On July 3, Díaz hit two homers with four RBI in a 14-11 win against the Albuquerque Isotopes. On August 10, he came within a three-bagger of a cycle, driving in four in a 14-6 win against the El Paso Chihuahuas. On August 23, he again belted a pair of moonshots, adding a single and totaling three RBI in a 23-8 victory against the Las Vegas Aviators. On September 1, Díaz received a call-up to join Houston.

Díaz appeared in six games for Houston over the final month of the season. In his debut on September 2, he drew a bases-loaded walk for his first RBI in the fifth inning of a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. On September 20, he collected his first major league hit, a double in a pinch-hit situation off Javy Guerra in the eighth-inning of a 5-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Of course, Díaz is already now a World Champion:

Díaz is currently on Houston’s 40-man roster, as (along with Korey Lee) one of two possible number-two catchers to back up Martín Maldonado through the 2023 season.