Like most other players, Alexis Diaz didn’t get the opportunity to play in 2020 as the minor league season was cancelled. He did pitch in a few games that winter, though, in the Puerto Rican Winter League. When the 2021 season began Cincinnati assigned the then 24-year-old to Double-A Chattanooga where he would pitch out of the Lookouts bullpen.
After picking up a save in his first outing of the season, Alexis Diaz took the loss in his second appearance as he allowed a 2-run walk-off homer in the 10th inning. He would strike out the side in his next outing, but the next night Montgomery got him back as he failed to record an out against any of the three hitters that he faced. Over the next three weeks he rebounded, giving up just two runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 16 of the 29 batters he faced for the Lookouts. On June 10th the good run game to an end as he allowed two runs in an inning against Pensacola.
That however would lead to a streak that was nearly two months long that saw him allow two earned runs in 14 games between June 11th and August 6th that spanned 17.0 innings where he allowed just one extra-base hit. That stretch came to an ended when the Rocket City Trash Pandas put three runs on the board against him on the 7th. Birmingham would get him a week later for two more runs in two innings. The righty then struck out 18 batters in the next six games that spanned 8.1 innings without allowing a run. In the final game of the season he was charged with three earned runs to break the run he was on.
For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Alexis Diaz Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 224 lbs | Drafted: 12th Round (2015 Draft)
Born: September 28, 1996
Fastball | A pitch that works in the mid-90’s and topped out at 98 this past season.
Slider | A plus pitch that works in the upper 80’s.
Change Up | A solid third offering, but one that is behind the other two.
When he was drafted, Alexis Diaz didn’t throw as hard as he does today but there were expectations that he would pick up a little velocity in time. Over the last two seasons that’s happened as he’s gone from a low-to-mid 90’s guy to a mid-to-upper 90’s guy. The slider has improved a little bit over time as well and everything really came together in 2021 for Diaz.
While there were a few hiccups along the way, the righty gave up just two home runs in 42.1 innings on the season and he struck out 70 of the 180 batters he faced last year. That’s a 39% strikeout rate. His walk rate was a little bit higher on the year than you’d like to see as he walked 20 batters – an 11% rate – though it will work as long as he continues to strike out hitters at very high rates.
The stuff combined with the performance let to the Reds adding him to the 40-man roster following the season. With success at Double-A and quality stuff, Diaz is knocking on the door of the big leagues.
Interesting Stat on Alexis Diaz
Opponents went 8-for-8 in stolen base attempts while he was on the mound in 2021.
This article was first sent out to those who support the site over on Patreon. Early access is one of the perks that you could get be joining up as a Patron and supporting the work done here at RedsMinorLeagues.com.