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2021 Marlins Season Review: Isan Díaz

Evaluating the ups and downs of Isan Díaz’s age-25 campaign.

Isan Diaz #1 of the Miami Marlins runs the bases against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Isan Díaz was regarded as the future second baseman for the Marlins at one point. He won the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year award in 2019 and rightfully earned a taste of the Major Leagues at the end of that season. After some initial growing pains and a sophomore season (2020) that was limited to only 7 games by injuries and his COVID opt-out decision, he entered 2021 in direct competition with Jazz Chisholm Jr.

The Marlins gave Díaz a long leash to figure things out, but he couldn’t get the job done.

Isan did not have a good spring training. Despite having the edge in experience over Chisholm, it was an easy call by the end of camp and the Marlins optioned him to AAA Jacksonville.

Before the AAA season even started, Isan got another chance in late April when Jazz suffered an injury. As we all know by now, his great MiLB offense did not translate at all to the highest level (238 AB, 25 R, 46 H, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, .193 BA, .293 OBP, .575 OPS). He was one of the worst hitters on the Marlins in 2021.

Isan in his time in AAA put up pretty good numbers (5 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB, .243 BA, .328 OBP, .813 OPS). However, it’s hard to take that seriously.

Isan Díaz was given more than enough MLB chances. He never really stayed consistent and just swung at pretty bad pitches that were thrown to him which resulted in low-quality at-bats and extended cold stretches (0-for-29 at one point). He had limited success at second base defensively, though transitioning to third base worked out pretty well—that’s maybe the only positive to mention.

The future for Isan is pretty obvious: he won’t be back on the team next season is what we all assume. If he has any trade value left, it’s only marginal. He could be DFA’d to create space on the Marlins roster at some point this winter depending on which other moves they make. For all the genuine excitement he made us feel as a prospect, it’s time to get realistic about who he is moving forward.