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Diaz named MLB's 9th-ranked 1B prospect

Lanky 21-year-old hit .292 in Class A last season
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- With his power potential, Lewin Diaz is one of the Twins' more intriguing prospects and was named the No. 9 first base prospect by MLB Pipeline on Friday.

Diaz, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4 million in 2013, was left off the 40-man roster this offseason, leaving him exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in December. But Diaz, 21, wasn't selected -- he remains far from the Majors, as he just finished his first season at Class A Cedar Rapids.

MINNEAPOLIS -- With his power potential, Lewin Diaz is one of the Twins' more intriguing prospects and was named the No. 9 first base prospect by MLB Pipeline on Friday.

Diaz, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4 million in 2013, was left off the 40-man roster this offseason, leaving him exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in December. But Diaz, 21, wasn't selected -- he remains far from the Majors, as he just finished his first season at Class A Cedar Rapids.

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

But Diaz has as much raw power as any Twins prospect, and is coming off a solid season at Cedar Rapids, hitting .292/.329/.444 with 12 homers, 33 doubles and 68 RBIs in 122 games. As he continues to fill out his 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame, the Twins believe more of those doubles will turn into home runs.

Diaz has a solid approach at the plate, using all fields, but needs to continue to work on his plate discipline. He walked just 25 times in 508 plate appearances, but improved his contact rate, striking out 80 times.

Diaz has hit .280/.341/.457 with 30 homers, 69 doubles and 152 RBIs in 258 career games in the Minors. He's expected to open the season at Class A Advanced Fort Myers.

Defensively, the left-handed Diaz is surprisingly athletic and has a strong arm. He played some right field as a youngster in the Dominican, but is projected to be a solid defender at first base.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins