St. Louis Cardinals: The time is now for Aledmys Diaz


The St. Louis Cardinals will be without their starting shortstop for two to three months, and will need someone to step up and fill that role. Will it be the Cuban prospect?

The year was 2014, the St. Louis Cardinals were coming off of a National League pennant and a World Series loss to the Boston Red Sox, the team was also looking into dipping their toe into the Cuban free agent waters. As a intriguing young shortstop by the name of Aledmys Diaz was available and the Cardinals had just signed an aging shortstop to a four year deal, that was Jhonny Peralta.

The Cardinals took the flier on the young shortstop from Cuba, and the prospect languished in his first season in the Cardinals’ system, finding himself on the DL multiple times and having a hard time adjusting to playing ball in the United States for the first time. The Cardinals took note keeping him close enough to the team in Springfield to where they could keep up with him.

Diaz struggled yet again in 2015, and the Cardinals made the decision to let other teams have a crack at him, by removing him from the 40 Man Roster. The move did not backfire on the Cardinals, as Diaz was not claimed and the young Cuban player took off.

We finally saw the player that was hyped before the 2014 season, as from July 19-November 21 with AA Springfield, AAA Memphis, and the Surprise Saguaros — Diaz hit .333/.401/.592 with 12 homers, 21 doubles, and 37 RBI. This was all good for a 169 wRC+ for the Cuban SS. During this time Diaz only struck out 34 times in 228 at-bats.

So, we know that Diaz has the potential to be a really good hitter at short, and the defense is really underrated at this point in his career. In watching him in the AFL and Spring Training, he can provide just as good if not better defense at short than Peralta.

While his Spring Training number aren’t that great right now, it is still too early to take much from him. However, what we can gather is that the club knows what they might have in Diaz, as he has been used in all but one of the games so far.

Next: What will the team do to help alleviate the Peralta injury?

Diaz was pretty much on the outside looking in before this injury, and this is his chance to step up. If Diaz’ bat can get hot, he could be the go-to guy at SS. He will be battling it out with Greg Garcia and Jedd Gyorko. Diaz is likely the better player of the three, but he is going to need to prove it and step up in order to help this team overcome the loss of Peralta.