2012 3rd-Round Pick: RHP Edwin Diaz
The draft is a mess in a lot of respects. Guys that you don’t expect to go high, go high. Guys that you don’t really expect to drop, drop. In Diaz’ case, he’s more the latter than the former, but generally a reasonable pick for the time.
Diaz at present is a skinny right-hander who has hit the mid-to-high 90s a few times. More commonly, he’ll sit lower than that. Watching his mechanics is an interesting experience: he’s all spindly limbs out there and the effect is exaggerated by the fact that, in his landing, he drifts and falls over to the first base side. It’s a quick motion once he gets into it, not quite over the top, a bit to the right. One would think that as he fills out and gets his body under control, the quirks of the delivery will even out and he’ll start to look more normal-ish. For now, the reports are that his command falls short, unsurprising if the mechanics are falling apart on him.
Once he gets the delivery squared away, he’ll still have some work ahead of him developing the secondary offerings. Sometimes the curveball has depth. Sometimes it doesn’t. And the change-up? As mysterious as it commonly is with young pitchers. This and the motion lead some to suggest relief work for him. I would be shocked if the Mariners didn’t have him starting for at least two or three years, particularly considering that he’s somewhat new to pitching. There’s no reason to rush judgment on him.
Factoid: He’s a cousin of Jose Melendez, who pitched for the Mariners in the early 90s. Melendez, after being picked up on waivers by the hated Padres, was traded for Phil Plantier, who was a coach/hitting coordinator for the Mariners minor league system from 2008 to 2010. Most recently, Plantier returned as the hitting coach for the hated Padres.