If history is any guide, will start out platooning and eventually sometime during the summer take over left field more or less full time, probably two weeks too late. At least, that’s how it’s worked the last two seasons. Diaz topped his .328 mark in 2006 with .337 in 2007; I think we can safely say that’s his range. He hit 12 home runs in 358 AB, so you can’t even say he doesn’t have enough power anymore. He doesn’t walk, but will get hit by a pitch, and at the risk of repeating what I wrote last year at this time, .337 covers up a lot of ills.

Turns 30 in March, but has only 778 career major league ABs, little more than one season’s worth. Most of those ABs are in the last two years, 655 of them. In that “season” with the Braves, he’s hit .333/.366/.487, 218 hits, 19 HR, 81 R, 77 RBI. It’s essentially any given Tony Gwynn year. I’m not saying that Diaz is as good as Gwynn, but you’d think that would be enough to win at least a chance at a regular job.

In 2006, Diaz hit better against righties than lefties. Last year, that wasn’t the case: he was essentially Vlad Guerrero against lefthanders (.356 .384 .580) and… well, not Wil Guerrero, but a lot worse, against righthanders (.318 .350 .406) Even that’s not too bad, and a lot better than Willie Harris. I would guess that he’s going to hit for high averages against everyone, and not walk against anyone, but most of his power is going to come against lefties… Absolutely destroyed ground-ball pitchers to the tune of .355 .384 .602; this includes half his home runs in little more than a quarter of his ABs. Of course, groundball pitchers are dispropotionately lefthanded.

Defensive stats are quite good; defensive appearance and reputation are very bad. His stats in 2007 aren’t as good as in 2006, but he looked somewhat better. The Braves really don’t like his defense, apparently, which is one reason they won’t play him everyday… Stole four bases without getting caught.

Matt Diaz Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com