Dodgers' Diaz homers twice in Futures Game

Outfielder is second player to do so in 20 years of showcase

July 16th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- When Big Papi is impressed by a player's power, you know that player is doing it right.
David Ortiz glowed Sunday in the wake of a two-homer, three-RBI performance by Dodgers prospect Yusniel Diaz in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. Diaz smashed a pair of tying homers -- a two-run shot in the fifth inning and a solo smash in the seventh, though they came in a losing effort as the World Team fell to the U.S., 10-6.
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"His approach is legit," said Ortiz, who managed the World Team. "This guy hits like he has two strikes -- with power. That's something that impressed me a lot. The two homers that he hit, they were, like, big guys' bombs. He looked great."
Diaz, 21, is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Dodgers' No. 4 prospect and No. 85 in all of baseball. He hails from Cuba but lives in Florida now and had family in the stands for the annual prospect showcase. Over and over on Sunday, he came back to that cheering section when talking about his big night.
"I'm really inspired and really happy, for the fans and for my family who came to support me," he said. "Expect the best from me. I'm going to leave everything on the field."
He added: "Those two home runs came from the heart."
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Diaz is playing at Double-A Frisco, where he has six home runs in 220 at-bats. He hit his pair of home runs in five at-bats in the Futures Game, the first off Tigers prospect Matt Manning for a 5-5 tie in the fifth, and the second off Giants prospect Shaun Anderson for a 6-6 tie in the seventh.
They were two of eight homers between the two teams, doubling the previous Futures Game record.
Diaz became the second player in the 20-year history of the Futures Game to go deep twice. The other belonged to Alfonso Soriano, in the very first Futures Game in 1999.
"Put it this way. Those are Minor Leaguers hitting balls like big leaguers," said Ortiz. "That is impressive. I saw balls hit today that I swear, I was watching a Major League Baseball player. I can imagine you guys had the same impression. We're talking about kids hitting balls like big leaguers. That's a better way to say the game is in good hands."