Dec 9, 2014

Mid 2000's Mets Outfielder: Victor Diaz (2004-2006)

Victor Israel Diaz was born on December 10th, 1981 in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. The six foot right hand hitting outfielder was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000 in the 37th round.

In the minor leagues he stole bases & hit for some power which had people calling him the five tooled player. Early on, he stole over twenty bases in 2002 & then 15 more the next year. In July of 2003 he came over to the New York Mets organization in exchange for Jeromy Burnitz.

At AA Binghamton he .354 with six HR in 45 games making a big impression. In 2004 he was promoted to AAA Norfolk where he hit .292 leading the Tides with 24 HRs 94 RBIs stealing just six bases. It was all people needed to see, as he was already getting anoited the outfielder of the Mets future.

He was brought up on September 11th 2004 in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium. Diaz walked in his first at bat & then later doubled driving in two runs in the Mets, although the Mets lost 11-9. On September 23rd he hit his first career HR, it came in Montreal in a 4-2 Met win over the Expos .

A later in the week hit his second HR in a game at Atlanta. Overall in his debut, he batted.294 with three HRs & eight RBIs in 15 games.

In 2005 he began the season with the Mets, getting three hits in the second game of the season in Cincinnati. On April 19th he hit a pair of HRs driving in four runs in the Mets 16-4 romp over the Philadelphia Phillies. He stayed over .300 until the end of April. On May 4th he hit another HR against Randy Wolf & the Phillies leading to a Mets 3-2 win.

His average fell to .242 by the end of June & he was sent back to Norfolk AAA Norfolk. There he batted an even .300, hitting ten HRs in 42 games , getting the fans excited once again.

He returned in heroic fashion on August 12th, hitting two HRs in a 7-6 loss at Dodger Stadium. On August 25th he hit a two run HR in the top of the 9th inning off Brandon Medders in Arizona, breaking a 1-1 tie leading to a 3-1 Mets win. Through September he hit well enough to show promise for his future. The media was even dubbing him "Baby Manny" with expectations of him being a Manny Ramirez type player, unfortunately that did not work out.

The Mets had a good team in 2006 & Diaz found himself in the back ground only making it to six games with the NL East Champions. Meanwhile in the minors he batted just .20 with only six HRs in 106 games. At the end of August he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Mike Nickeas. Victor Diaz & all the hype were gone.

He played 37 games with the '07 Rangers batting .240 with 9 HRs & 25 RBIs. He was released that November. He signed with the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners & Baltimore Orioles in the next few years but never got back to the big leagues.

In a four year career he batted .256 with 114 hits 24 HRs 25 doubles six stolen bases 73 RBIs & a .309 on base % in 37 games. In 2012 he played in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons

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