Here are the results.
Overwhelmingly the voters chose Piscotty.
Currently both Diaz and Piscotty have the exact same WAR: 3.1. Diaz, of course was an all-star (admittedly as a replacement), while Piscotty, though he has put up good numbers didn’t earn that honor this year.
The question on my mind is what makes Piscotty the better long term guarantee?
The answer, I think, relies in expectations. Piscotty had success in the minors, hitting for solid averages and showing good plate discipline at each stop in the minors, so expectations built up that he was going to have success in those areas in the majors. The results so far have confirmed those expectations, as he did will in a cameo last year and has a .299/.374/.497 slash line with 13 homers and 53 RBI’s in 374 plate appearances. Pretty good stats, and everything except the homers builds on what he had done in the minors, and the homers, it can be argued, come from his continued development as a hitter as this is just his first full season in the big leagues.
Diaz, by contrast, had no expectations. He was, in fact, left off the 40 man roster last year, so any team could’ve claimed him. Nobody did, showing that the rest of the teams didn’t see much value in him either, certainly not enough to pay him what he was owed (BBREF shows that he’s making 2.5 million this year and next, more than your standard rookie). Diaz entered this season as a utility player and only became a starter when Jhonny Peralta got injured. Since then he’s shined to the tune of a .315/.386/.536 slash line with 13 homers and 49 RBI’s in 352 plate appearances, resulting in Peralta being moved to third base and Matt Carpenter being moved back to second base so Diaz could stay at shortstop.
Everybody expected Piscotty to be a good hitter so naturally they expect him to continue his production. Nobody expected this from Diaz, so naturally they look upon his production this year with a wary eye and doubt he can do this on a consistent basis. Diaz probably won’t, but I do think he’s capable of putting up solid numbers.
What do I think? While I do agree that Piscotty may be the safer bet, I think this year shows us what Diaz is capable of, and that if he maintains his focus, he can contribute to the team for a while and earn the money the Cards invested in him when they signed him as a International Free Agent. Heck if he provides solid numbers beyond this season, he’ll earn quite a bit more than the five million owed him.
As always, thanks for reading.