The Dominican Summer League season has less than two weeks left before it’s over and it may have just lost it’s best player. Jose Acosta, a 19-year-old infielder, has been promoted to join the Arizona League Reds after spending his season with the DSL Reds.
After a debut season in 2018 where he hit just .199/.321/.284, the 2019 season was a coming out party for Jose Acosta. He played in 43 games for the Reds this season and hit .400/.500/.607 in 185 plate appearances. Among qualified players, he was leading the league in average and on-base percentage. He ranked third in slugging, behind teammate Darlin Guzman and Pirates slugger Alexander Mojica. Not surprising, he also led the league in OPS with his 1.107 mark. Oh, he also stole 24 bases in 24 attempts.
For Jose Acosta he started out well and really never looked back. He hit .417 in June and followed it up with a .387 average in July. In August, before his promotion, he hit .407. He had success against both left-handed pitchers and right-handed pitchers. Acosta, a switch-hitter did hit better from the right side of the plate. But let’s talk about what he did from the left side, first. Against right-handed pitchers from the left side he hit .355/.478/.536 with 25 walks and 29 strikeouts in 139 plate appearances. Remember, this was his “weak” side. Against left-handed pitchers as a righty, Acosta hit a laughable .525/.565/.800 in 46 plate appearances with five walks and three strikeouts.
It wasn’t only Jose Acosta that got a plane ticket to Arizona, though. Relief pitcher Yoel Diaz also got a promotion from the DSL to the Arizona League Reds. He’s enjoying a second straight successful season. In 2018 his ERA was 2.76 in 29.1 innings where he had nine walks and 35 strikeouts. This season he’s taken a bit of a step backwards. His ERA is up a little bit to 3.06. That’s not much of a difference – literally just one more run allowed in the same frame as last year. The difference has come mostly in his walk rate as he’s now walked 21 batters in 35.1 innings. His strikeout rate is also down a little bit, too, as he’s struck out 32 batters this season.