Yandy is afraid of ghosts and made the mistake of entrusting his teammates with this news before the Rays visited Milwaukee last August…the team stayed at the Pfister Hotel, where a number of Major Leaguers have claimed to experience the paranormal…his teammates did little to ease his concerns, taping a cartoon ghost in his locker ahead of the Milwaukee series with the Spanish word cuidado—“watch out”—written on it...On his fifth attempt to defect from Cuba, he and friend Leandro Linares waited in tall grass until their motorized raft arrived…they set out at around 2 a.m. and arrived in the Dominican Republic at about 2 p.m. the next day…Yandy reports to have seen sharks alongside the raft...Yandy hasn’t seen his family in Cuba since he defected…he calls his mother, Elsa Maria Fernández, who still lives there, almost every day and says she influenced him to play baseball…she would work 12-hour days at a cigar factory near their home in Sagua la Grande to provide for him...Yandy is a gym rat whose muscles have been featured in Men’s Journal…he began weightlifting when he was 12 years old...He and his wife, Mayisleidis, are expecting their first child in July.
Set career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 2B, 78 BB and a .824 OPS…appeared in 137 games and made 126 starts (97-3B, 15-1B, 14-DH)...With 78 BB and 60 SO, was one of six players in the majors to qualify for leaderboards and finish with more walks than strikeouts, joining MIN Luis Arraez, HOU Alex Bregman, TOR Alejandro Kirk, CLE Steven Kwan and WSH/SD Juan Soto…became the first qualifier in Rays history to finish with more walks than strikeouts...Ranked fifth in the majors with a .401 OBP behind NYY Aaron Judge (.425), LAD Freddie Freeman (.407), HOU Yordan Alvarez (.406) and STL Paul Goldschmidt (.404)…tied for 11th in the Majors and tied for fourth in the AL with 78 BB...Min. 100 AB, his .332 avg. on the road ranked second in the AL behind CHW José Abreu (.334)...His .401 OBP ranked fourth for a single season in franchise history behind Carlos Peña (.411) in 2007, Fred McGriff (.405) in 1999 and Ben Zobrist (.405) in 2009…his .421 OBP on the road ranked 3rd in Rays history behind John Jaso (.425) in 2010 and José Canseco (.424) in 2000...Hit 26 2B in his last 74 games (68 starts), compared to seven 2B in his first 63 games (58 starts)… from June 26 through the end of the season, his 26 2B tied for third in the majors behind TOR Bo Bichette (28) and LAD Mookie Betts (27)...Hit safely in a career-high 12 consecutive games from June 26–July 8, batting .457/.546/.630 (21- for-46) with eight 2B and three BI over that stretch...Was on the COVID-19 Related IL on April 23 due to symptoms…only started two of the club’s last 15 games due to left shoulder soreness...Won the club’s Paul C. Smith Champion Award, as voted by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the BBWAA…the award is given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field...In Baseball America’s annual Best Tools survey of major league managers, coaches and executives, was ranked as having the AL’s Best StrikeZone Discipline...Made his fifth Opening Day roster, all starts (4-3B, 1-1B)...On May 2 at OAK, homered off Daulton Jefferies in the first inning for the fourth leadoff homer of his career…including postseason, marked the third time in franchise history the Rays hit a leadoff homer at the Oakland Coliseum, joining Díaz off Sean Manaea in the 2019 AL Wild Card Game and Rocco Baldelli on Aug. 11, 2016...On May 3 at OAK, hit a go-ahead, RBI double off Lou Trivino in the 10th inning…marked the second time in his career he delivered a go-ahead hit in the ninth inning (or later), following a 10th-inning RBI double on Sept. 12, 2021 at DET...On May 14 vs. TOR, hit a leadoff homer for the second time in his last 11 games…the distance on the homer was 333 feet, according to Statcast, and would have gone out in seven of 30 ballparks…was the shortest over-the-fence homer by the Rays at Tropicana Field since Brad Miller hit a 329-foot homer on May 9, 2017 vs. KC...On Aug. 9 at MIL, snapped a career-long 0-for-21 drought with a two-run homer in the third inning...On Aug. 26 at BOS, sent the first pitch from Michael Wacha over the Green Monster… marked the 23rd time in club history that the first pitch was hit for a leadoff homer, 11th time on the road and first time at Fenway Park… marked the 12th time since pitch-tracking data became available (1988) that a visitor homered on the first pitch of a game at Fenway Park, first since CHW Tim Anderson on April 18, 2021… became the second visitor since pitch-tracking is available to hit a first-pitch leadoff homer and steal a base in the same game at Fenway Park, joining BAL Brian Roberts on July 31, 2007...On Sep. 30 at HOU, returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Sep. 19 vs. HOU, going nine games in between starts due to left shoulder soreness…reached base in his first four PA, recorded a season-high-tying three hits and hit a two-run double off Framber Valdez in the sixth inning as the Rays clinched a Wild Card berth... Started both games of the AL Wild Card Series at CLE at third base…hit leadoff in both games and went a combined 0-for-10...On Jan. 31, 2023, signed a three-year, $24 million contract through the 2025 season, including a club option for 2026.
Recorded a career-high 64 RBI and his 13 HR were one shy of tying a career-high from 2019…all 13 HR came in his last 80 games after going 54 games without one to begin the season...According to FanGraphs, swung at 22.7 pct. of pitches outside the zone, fourth-lowest in the AL...Hit .288/.367/.445 (55-for-191) vs. LHP and .273/.386/.400 (60-for-220) at Tropicana Field...Made his fourth Opening Day roster (2017, 2019-21), all starts (3-3B, 1-1B)...On June 6 at TEX, recorded a bases-loaded walk in the 8th inning and hit a two-run homer in the 9th…marked his first homer since Aug. 21, 2020, vs. TOR, going 62 games and 210 AB in between...On July 5 vs. CLE, recorded his first career walk-off RBI on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice...On Sept. 16 vs. DET, hit his third career leadoff homer and first since April 27, 2019, at BOS...POSTSEASON: Hit .200 (3-for-15) in four games (three starts)…delivered an RBI single in the first inning of both Games 1-2 of the ALDS vs. BOS.
Appeared in 34 games and made 30 starts (22-3B, 6-DH, 2-1B) before suffering a right hamstring strain on Aug 31, ending his regular season… returned in time for the start of the postseason...At the time of his injury, ranked 2nd in the AL with a .428 OBP and 3rd with 23 BB…according to StatCast, his 18 opposite-field hits through Aug 31 tied for most in the majors...Hit .355/.444/.452 (33-for-93) with 3 2B, 2 HR and 11 RBI in August…min. 75 PA, led the AL in on-base pct. and ranked 2nd in avg. …this came on the heels of a 2-for-21 start through 7 games...Made 7 starts batting leadoff and reached base safely leading off the 1st inning five times...Hit .325/.460/.425 (13-for-40) with 2 outs...Walked in each of his first 7 games, the longest streak of his career and the longest streak to start a season in club history, passing Gabe Gross (5) in 2009…was the first player in the majors to start a season in this fashion since CIN Jonny Gomes (8) and ATL Jason Heyward (8) in 2011...Reached base safely in his first 22 games, the second-longest streak to start a season in franchise history behind Rocco Baldelli (24) in 2003…hit .301 (22-for-73) with 17 BB during the streak...Went 16 games (15 starts) before his first RBI, the longest stretch by a Ray to start the season since Logan Morrison (28) in 2016...Both homers came in back-to-back games from Aug 20-21 at NYY, vs. TOR…hit 2 HR in a stretch of 3 AB after going 110 AB without one...Made his third Opening Day roster…started at first base after Opening Day starts at third base in 2017 (with CLE) and 2019 (with TB).
Limited to 79 games due to three stints on the injured list, the third of which cost him over two months…hit 14 HR in 347 PA for the Rays, compared to 1 HR in 299 PA over two seasons with the Indians and 9 HR in 1,099 PA between the minors and majors over those two seasons...Sustained a left foot contusion on July 22 vs. BOS, when he fouled a ball off his foot with the Rays trailing 9-4 in the 9th inning…did not return until the final game of the regular season...While progressing back from his left foot injury, felt an increase of pain while taking ground balls prior to the game on Aug 7…CT scan results revealed an uncommon hairline fracture of the navicular bone in his left foot...Sidelined from May 20-June 1 with a left hand contusion and from June 17-26 with right hamstring discomfort...Hit .500 (8-for-16) with 1 2B, 2 HR and 3 BB leading off a game and .337 (28-for-83) with 5 HR and 10 RBI out of the leadoff spot in the order...Made his second Opening Day roster, both starts at third base (2016)…became the 11th Cuban-born player in franchise history...On March 29 vs. HOU, hit his first home run as a Ray, a solo shot in the 6th inning off Gerrit Cole…since StatCast was introduced in 2015, his homer tied for the club's lowest by launch angle (17°), joining Brad Miller on June 17, 2016 vs. SF...On April 7 at SF, homered off Drew Pomeranz for the first leadoff homer of his career...On May 11 vs. NYY, hit a solo homer off CC Sabathia in the 3rd inning and a 3-run shot off Nestor Cortes Jr. in the 8th for the first multi-HR game of his career…his 4 RBI were a career high...On July 2 vs. BAL, pinch-ran and scored in the 6th inning and walked and scored in the 7th… became the second player in franchise history to score multiple runs without an official at-bat, joining Geoff Blum on Aug 29, 2004 at OAK...On July 18 at NYY (G1), was the second of back-to-back homers with Austin Meadows to lead off the 1st inning…it was the second time in club history Rays hitters hit back-to-back homers to lead off a game, following June 15, 1998 vs. TOR (Quinton McCracken, Wade Boggs)...Started at first base in the AL Wild Card Game at OAK and started the first 3 games of the ALDS against the Astros, one as the designated hitter and two at third base…was replaced in the 3rd inning of Game 3...Hit leadoff in the Wild Card Game and homered in the 1st and 3rd innings, becoming the fifth Ray with a multi-HR game in the postseason and the first to do it in a "winner take all" game...Was the 10th player in postseason history with a multi-HR effort in a "winner take all" game but only the second out of the leadoff spot, joining BOS Johnny Damon in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS…he became the first leadoff hitter to homer in each of his first 2 AB of a postseason...According to Stats LLC, was the first position player to homer in the postseason after not having any hits after July in the regular season.
Appeared in 39 games and made 26 starts (15DH, 6-1B, 5-3B) over two stints with the Indians… was on the active roster from June 20-23 and Aug 12 through the end of the season...Hit .407/.515/.519 (11-for-27) over his final 13 games (7 starts) of the season...In his season debut on July 20 at TEX, went 4-for-6 with 2 RBI and 2 runs in an 11-inning win…was the second 4-hit game of his career… was the first Indians player with 4 hits in his season debut since David Dellucci in 2009...On Sep 4 vs. KC, hit his first career home run, a solo shot off Jake Newberry in the 5th inning… came in the 244th plate appearance of his career, snapping the Indians longest homerless drought to begin a major league career since John McDonald in 2002...Finished the season as the International League leader with a .409 OBP…ranked 2nd with 70 BB and 6th with a .293 avg. …at the time of his last recall, was leading the IL in walks and was tied for 6th with 24 2B...POSTSEASON: Was the starting designated hitter in Game 3 of the ALDS, an 11-3 loss against the Astros…doubled in the 2nd inning off Dallas Keuchel.
Split the season between Cleveland and AAA Columbus, opening the season on the Major League roster after a torrid spring training and finished the season with a strong six weeks at the Major League level...Hit .458 (22/48) in Spring Training with 2 HR and 15 RBI (1.252 OPS) and made the club out of spring training as was the club's Opening Day third baseman...Collected his first Major League hit in his third at bat of his Major League debut on April 3 at Texas, a double off Yu Darvish...Hit .236 (13/55) with 9 runs, 1 2B, 2 RBI in 15 games in his first stint before being optioned to Columbus on April 21 when Jason Kipnis returned from the D.L...Was also with Cleveland, May 8-15, going 0-for-9 in 3 games...Recalled for a third and final time on August 22 and spent the rest of the season at Major League level. Around his tenure in Cleveland, he batted .350 (108/309) in Columbus with 56 runs, 17 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR & 33 RBI in 85 games (.454/.460/.914)...At the time of August 22 recall he was leading the International League in on-base pct. (.454) and batting average and was third in OPS (.914) and tied for sixth in walks (60)... He batted .371 (33/89) off LHP and hit .321 (16/57) with runners on base..At AAA he appeared in 42 games in third, 21 games in left field, 9 games in right field and 1 game at second base. With Cleveland he made 37 starts at third base, 5 starts at DH and 3 starts in left field...Made 2 errors in 71 total chances at third base (.972)....Enjoyed a career-game on August 24 vs. Boston, going 4-for-4 with 4 runs, 2 doubles, a triple and 2 RBI (single-game bests in hits, doubles, runs)...Walked or hit safely in 35 of 45 starts...From August 24 thru the end of his season he batted .326 (28/86) with 16 runs, 7 2B, 1 3B & 10 RBI in 29 games to end the season....Over his last stint in August and September he batted .304 (28/92) with 16 runs, 7 2B, 1 3B & 10 RBI in 31 games (.407/.810)....Díaz did not draw a walk in his last 53 PA's dating back to Sept. 7...Appeared in 11 games for Caracas in the VWL (10/30) before being shutdown on Nov. 26 with groin/abdominal sorenes.
Had an outstanding season in his third campaign in the Indians organization, leading the International League in on-base pct (.399) while participating in the MLB XM Futures Game in July...Was named International League Rookie of the Year following the season...Also finished among Int'l League leaders in average (2nd, .325) and OPS (3rd, .860)...Among orgnaizational leaders he finished 2nd in batting average (.318) and on-base pct. (.408) and 3rd in OPS (.854), 4th in hits (141) and tied for 5th in walks (71)... Was named an MiLB.com organizational all-star for the second straight season... Combined on the year he batted .318 (141-444) with 66 runs, 22 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR and 58 RBI in 121 games between AA Akron and AAA Columbus...Was promoted from Akron to Columbus on May 12... Reeled off a 28-game hitting streak from July 6 to August 10, the longest hitting streak in the IL since 2007 (Brandon Watson 43-games)...Combined on the year he appeared in 52 games at third base, 28 games in right field, 24 games in left field, 5 games at second base and 1 game in center field...After the season he hit .371 (56-151) in 40 games in the Venezuelan Winter League for Caracas (.451/.510/.961) ...Was second in the league in on-base and average and third in OPS (appeared in all but one game in the outfield)...Rated by Baseball America as having the best strike zone discipline in the system.