Frank Isaias Díaz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 211 lb.
Frank Díaz has hit over 100 home runs, thrown out over 100 runners from the outfield and stolen over 100 bases in his minor league career, where he has reached AAA.
Díaz made his pro debut with the 2001 GCL Expos and showed little promise at the plate (.219/.297/.273, 0 HR), though he played error-free ball and had 9 assists in 35 outfield games; he also stole 10 bases in 13 tries. Despite not being a full-time player, he managed to lead Gulf Coast League outfielders in assists. In his winter ball debut, he was 1 for 3 for the Pastora de Los Llanos in 2001-2002. In the summer of '02, he was hitting better for the GCL Expos (.277/.370/.434 in 51 G) and got into 10 games for the Brevard County Manatees (7 for 34, 6 BB, 2 2B). Frank was 1 for 8 for Pastora in the winter. In 2003, he hit .270/.298/.400 with 28 doubles, 19 steals in 23 tries and only 15 walks for the Savannah Sand Gnats, while registering 21 assists. He tied Jeff Salazar for the South Atlantic League lead in outfield assists while also tying for 5th in the SAL in doubles. He was 0 for 9 that winter for Los Llanos.
The Valencia native slumped to a .242/.303/.380 batting line with 8 triples, 16 steals in 22 tries and 16 assists for the 2004 Brevard County Manatees. He tied Ryan Church for second in the Montreal Expos chain in triples, two behind Shawn Norris. He tied Norris and Joel Guzman for 5th in the Florida State League in triples. He hit .314/?/.483 in regular action for Los Llanos that winter. In 2005, he had his best season in the US, producing at a .312/.342/.498 clip for the Potomac Cannons, with 85 runs, 74 RBI, 45 doubles, 16 home runs and 17 assists. He led Washington Nationals farmhands in hits (173), was second in runs (one behind Kory Casto), led in doubles (9 more than Casto or Salomon Manriquez), was 7th in homers, tied Ian Desmond for 4th in triples (5), was 5th in RBI (between J.J. Davis and Rick Short) and tied for 10th with 14 steals. In the Carolina League, he led outfielders in putouts (285) and assists and led all players in at-bats (554), hits (25 more than anyone else), doubles (6 ahead of runner-up Pat Magness) and total bases (276, 7 ahead of Noah Hall). He was also 4th in average (between Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Magness), tied for 6th in triples, ranked 9th in RBI (between Saltalamacchia and Brant Ust) and was 9th in slugging. Baseball America rated him as being the best defensive outfielder and having the best outfield arm in the Carolina League, while he was also rated as the #17 prospect in the circuit (between Brad Snyder and Hunter Pence). He was named to the All-Star team, joining Thomas Collaro and Nick Markakis in the outfield. He also tied for 5th in the affiliated minors in both doubles and hits. In the 2005 Futures Game, he replaced Nelson Cruz in right field for the World, going 0 for 2 in his team's 4-0 win.
In the winter, Frank hit .250/.331/.454 with 11 HR, 37 runs and 38 RBI in 60 games for Los Llanos. He tied for 5th in the Venezuelan League in runs, was third in RBI (after Tom Evans and Yurendell De Caster) and finished fourth in home runs (behind Evans, De Caster and Luke Scott). With the Harrisburg Senators in 2006, Díaz regressed with a .259/.296/.373 batting line and 7 assists. In 2006-2007, he batted .269/.310/.417 for Pastora and led Venezuela in doubles (16). Back with the Senators for 2007, the outfielder was somewhat better with the stick (.255/.300/.413, 14 HR).
In the winter of 2007-2008, Frank put up a .323/.353/.457 line with 7 home runs and 36 runs for the Bravos de Margarita. He was 6th in the league in runs, in the top 10 in average and tied for 7th in homers. In his final season with the Nationals franchise, he played for the Cannons (.256/.299/.366 in 43 G) and Columbus Clippers (.291/.331/.359 in 38 G) at age 24. Even as his US career was stalled, he was continuing to crush the ball in his homeland, hitting .308/.349/.495 with 19 doubles, 7 home runs, 36 runs and 40 RBI in 59 games for the Bravos. He was second in doubles (one behind Gerardo Parra) and was 9th in RBI.
Díaz performed poorly with the 2009 Petroleros de Minatitlan (.259/.346/.437 in 39 G) and Buffalo Bisons (0 for 3, BB, 2 R). He kept it up for the 2009-2010 Bravos though, at .313/.391/.480 with 14 doubles, 8 home runs, 43 runs, 35 RBI and 26 walks in 61 games. He was 5th in the league in runs and tied for 6th in doubles. With Minatitlan for all of 2010, he was sharper, batting .338/.376/.520 with 34 doubles and 75 runs. He tied Jose Macias for fourth in the Mexican League in two-baggers and just missed the top 10 in runs.
With the 2010-2011 Bravos, Frank hit .256/.323/.407 and was 8th in the league in home runs (7) and 10th in RBI (32). He only appeared 22 games that summer for the Petroleros but batted .390/.434/.753 with 7 homers in 77 AB. in 2011-2012, he batted .257/.325/.311 for Margarita, his worst performance in the Venezuelan League since he had become a starter. During 2012, he swung a big stick for Minatitlan and the Veracruz Eagle, with a combined .280/.332/.537 batting line, 23 doubles, 27 home runs, 81 runs and 72 RBI in 109 contests. He tied for fifth in the LMB in doubles and tied for 4th in home runs (with Brett Harper, Mendy Lopez and Edgar Quintero).