Alex Reyes Headlines Cardinals in Arizona Fall League

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Aledmys Diaz, INF

Credit: Mark Harrell/Springfield Cardinals

When you come from the international baseball backwater of Cuba, you tend to be a mystery when you come to the U.S.. No one predicted Jose Abreu and Yeonis Cespedes would be so good so fast in the big leagues. Similarly, no one figured Diaz would take so long to catch on when he went on the market in 2014. The original asking price was $20 million. The Cards got him for $8 million over four years, but even that looked like a bad investment initially. Injuries and culture shock led to a so-so pro debut at Springfield and Palm Beach, where Diaz hit a combined .273 in 161 at bats. This season, he struggled enough in his double-A encore that the Cardinals designated him for assignment in July. With that $8 million price tag and a .227 average, no one claimed him. Diaz went back to Springfield and, kaboom! He took off, boosting his average to .264 and earning a promotion to triple-A Memphis. There, he hit .380 with three homers and six ribbies in 50 at-bats. Should he continue to pound the ball in the desert, the Cardinals can be pretty confident that Diaz has finally turned the corner.