Cleveland Indians: 4 Prospects to Watch for in 2017

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MLB: All Star Game-All Star Futures Gae
MLB: All Star Game-All Star Futures Gae /

Yandy Diaz

Before 2016, most people had probably never heard of Yandy Diaz.

The third base prospect started of the 2016 season in AA Akron before being moved up to AAA Columbus just 26 games later. He would go on to post a .325 batting average, a career high, over 95 games.

A third baseman by trade, Diaz spent over half of his time in AAA in left and right field. He also saw a small amount of time at second base.

A call up to the majors is imminent for Diaz, especially since their utility player, Jose Ramirez, has become the full-time third baseman. Michael Martinez spent the most time as a utility man, along with Erik Gonzalez, but had little results to show for. Tribe manager Terry Francona has always been a fan of having a dependable utility man, and Diaz will likely become that guy mid-2017.

Diaz thrives off of consistency, something the Indians will certainly look for at the bottom of their lineup. With Lonnie Chisenhall, Abraham Almonte, Tyler Naquin and Yan Gomes all being rather inconsistent hitters, Francona will likely look for a more stable bat at some point this season, if this trend continues.

If Diaz transitions well to MLB and continues to hit between .290 and .310, that bat could make the Indians lineup even more dangerous down the stretch.