Backup Option #66 Elias Diaz
The catching position is one that gets banged up very easily. So, every team needs a solid third option in the minors just in case something happens.
For the Pirates, that option is Elias Diaz. Pittsburgh’s number 14 ranked prospect, Diaz had a solid season with Triple A Indianapolis last season. He hit .271 with four home runs and 47 RBI. He also boasted a .984 fielding percentage while throwing out 43 percent of base stealers (14 out of 32).
After the drop off of first round draft pick Tony Sanchez, it looks like Diaz will be the catcher of the future for this Pirates team. His success last year not only earned him a call up to the major leagues in September, but also lead him to start the 2015 futures game.
Diaz has spent 8 years in the Pirates minor league system and has been looking for a way up to the majors. However, barring any injuries, he will probably have to wait at least one more season for the chance to be a starting catcher in the majors.
Diaz will more likely than not spend another full season down in Indianapolis in 2016. Look for him to have success in the minors with somewhere around a .275 average with seven home runs and 50 RBI. This will up his stock so hopefully the Pirates can extend Cervelli and ship Diaz off to address other needs on the team.
Catching has been a strength for the Pirates the last couple of seasons with Russel Martin and now Francisco Cervelli manning the position. With another successful season Cervelli can solidify his role on the team. Also, with Stewart as a back up and personal catcher to Gerrit Cole the duo will be again among the top catching tandems in all of baseball.