Redbird Rants recently had the opportunity to ask Springfield Cardinals manager Mike Shildt last weekend (April 11) about Aledmys Diaz, the Cuban prospect recently signed by the St. Louis Cardinals during spring training.
Mar 21, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Aledmys Diaz (95) connects for a base hit against the Washington Nationals during a game at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
What does having a player like Aledmys mean to the clubhouse?
Mike Shildt: He’s fit in to the culture of the clubhouse very well. He’s very respectful to his teammates and to the coaching staff, and is a very positive person.
I know the season is still young but what has impressed you so far about his hitting so far?
Mike Shildt: Definitely the fact that he’s got good strike-zone discipline. He’s got a compact swing and a good approach, and has been doing a good job at driving the ball through the middle of the field.
Should it be a surprise that, entering games played through the start of April 11th, Aledmys leads the Texas League with 9 RBIs and tied for 3rd with a .458 batting average?
Mike Shildt: It’s really early in the evaluation process, but obviously he’s a special talent. We’re just trying to provide him with plenty of opportunities to play and further his development. It’s always great for a player to start off the season on a good note.
Defensively speaking, in what ways does Diaz need improvement seeing as how he had two errors last night?
Mike Shildt: Right now, we’re just letting him play while we assess what he does well and identify areas of improvement. This early in the season, it wouldn’t be prudent to change things – we’re letting him play with the abilities that got him here.
As of games played through April 19, Diaz is hitting .341/.595/.936 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI. Teammate James Ramsey leads the Texas League in home runs (4) and batting average (.370). Diaz and Ramsey are tied for the league lead in RBI.