Miller Diaz comes in at number 36 after improving on his 2012 season with a breakout campaign for Brooklyn in 2013.
DOB: 6/22/92 (Age: 21)
Fastball: 55/55 Slider: 50/55 Change: 45/60 Control: 45/55 Mechanics: 65/65
Miller finished up 2012 with a 3.78 ERA and an impressive 10.0 K/9 in 47.2 innings, putting himself on the prospect radar. In 2013, he demanded your attention, dominating the New York-Penn League for 12 starts. Diaz finished the season with a 2.02 ERA in 66.2 innings of work, good enough for fourth best in the league. He also tallied a league-best 87 strikeouts (11.7 per 9) and allowed just one homerun.
Diaz is a stocky righthander whose 6’1 listing may be a tad generous. He attacks hitter with a compact delivery despite some effort behind it. He maintains his velocity as the game wears on and in the stretch. The fastball is a solid offering, sitting in the 92-94 range with good life. His breaking pitch, a slider, can sometimes look slow and slurvy sitting in the low 80′s. Diaz has flashed the ability to tighten the slider up, making it a nice offering with good tilt and a sharp break. Consistency will remain the key to his breaking ball. Miller also throws a low 80′s split-change with arm-side sink that can be his best pitch on it’s good days. His control is spotty at best (4.5 BB/9 in ’13) and will need to improve if he wants to stay in the rotation.
Outlook: I saw Diaz pitch twice this season and came away impressed both times. Most scouts look at his size and lack of put away secondary offering and stick him in the reliever role. I think he can stick in the rotation. Despite lacking ideal height for a starter, he’s got a thick build that I think will hold up over a full season. He mixes his pitches well despite a plus offering, instead leaning on whichever pitch is working for him that particular start. I’m interested to see what he does as he advances up the ranks and faces better hitters. For now, I’m going to say he’s a back-end starter or a late-inning reliever.
ETA: Late 2016