Christian Diaz (Hoofdklasse)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
Christian Diaz has been a star performer in the Hoofdklasse, leading in total bases his first year and average, slugging and OBP his second.
Diaz was a two-way player for the Aruban national team in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup. In his first pitching outing, he started against Guatemala and went 3 1/3 IP (4 H, 2 R, 6 BB) before Derward Ruiz relieved. He replaced Alfred Lider against Mexico and pitched three innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 walks and 7 runs (4 earned). Against the neighboring Netherlands Antilles, he relieved Carlos Webster and tossed the final four frames (6 H, 3 BB, 5 R, 1 K). He finished with a 9.58 ERA on the event, better than the team total of 10.58. Backing up Alexander St. Jago in right and Julio Hernandez in center, he was 4 for 11 with two RBI. Had he qualified, the teenager would have led the team in average. He then hit .278/.278/.278 with two runs in five games for Aruba in the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament. His five hits tied Sicnarf Loopstok for the team lead.
He made his Hoofdklasse debut with ADO in 2014. He hit .338/.399/.554. The only negatives were baserunning (3 SB, 7 CS) and pitching (3 R, 5 H, 3 Bb in 2 1/3 IP). He was 6th in average (between Stijn van der Meer and Dennis De Quint), 3rd in slugging (behind Bas de Jong and Gianison Boekhoudt), did not make the top 15 in OBP, tied for second with 50 hits (3 behind Dirk van 't Klooster), tied Kenny Berkenbosch for 6th with 10 doubles, was 4th with 6 home runs, led in total bases (82, 3 ahead of de Jong) and tied Remco Draijer for second in caught stealing.
Moving to Neptunus in 2015 when ADO folded their team, he was even better, producing at a .431/.545/.626 clip with 31 runs in 39 games, fielding .987. He led the league in average (.011 ahead of MVP Dashenko Ricardo), slugging (.017 over Ricardo) and OBP (.059 over Mervin Gario). He also was second with15 doubles (one behind Berkenbosch), 3rd with 30 walks (behind Mike Duursma and Boekhoudt), 4th with 77 total bases (between Dwayne Kemp and Daniel Fernandes), tied Fernandes for 5th with 53 hits and 8th in runs (between Bas Nooij and Bryan Engelhardt). He was a finalist for the MVP, losing out to Ricardo. In the 2015 European Cup, he helped Neptunus to the title, going 10 for 28 with 4 runs, 2 triples and 7 RBI in round one; he tied Giuseppe Mazzanti for 4th in the pool with 6 RBI (the event leaders don't count the pool finale, when he had RBI #7) and led in triples. In the Cup finals, he went 5 for 11 with a double, walk and two runs with one outfield assist to boot. He tied for first in the Cup finals in average, OBP and hits. He also was sharp in the 2015 Holland Series - .409/.391/.455, 3 R, 3 RBI in 5 G to help Neptunus win that title as well. In the Series, he was second in average (.046 behind Series MVP Benjamin Dille), second in hits (9, 2 behind Dille) and 4th in total bases (10). He also appeared for the Netherlands in the 2015 World Port Tournament, hitting .320/.370/.320 with 7 runs in 7 games. He tied for second in the event in runs, 3 behind Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and tied for 10th with 8 hits.
Diaz hit .412/.450/.471 with 5 runs in 5 games in the 2016 European Cup, with one assist in the outfield. Entering the final day of games (which did not count for league leader purposes), he was tied for second in hits with fellow Aruban Gilmer Lampe and was second in runs (behind Nick Urbanus).