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Robinzon Díaz

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Robinzon Díaz Henriquez

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Robinzon Díaz is a four-time All-Star in the minor leagues.

Díaz was signed by scout Hilario Soriano for the Toronto Blue Jays in November 2000. He debuted professionally with the 2001 DSL Blue Jays, hitting .312/.374/.419. In 2002, he moved up to Canada with the Medicine Hat Blue Jays and batted .297/.345/.344. The catcher came to the US briefly, hitting .120 in 10 games for the Dunedin Blue Jays.

In 2003, Díaz put on a show, producing at a .374/.407/.522 clip for the Pulaski Blue Jays with 20 doubles and 44 RBI in 48 games. He led the Appalachian League in doubles and batting average, 30 poitns ahead of runner-up Ervin Alcantara. He was named to the Appy League All-Star team at catcher, his first All-Star nod, and was named the league's #18 prospect by Baseball America.

Díaz was in full-season baseball at age 20, hitting .287/.342/.361 for the Charleston Alley Cats and grounding into 24 double plays, most in the South Atlantic League. He and Colt Simmons split the pick as the SAL All-Star catcher. Baseball America rated him as the best defensive catcher in the SAL. He also played in the 2004 Futures Game, replacing Dioner Navarro at catcher. In his only at-bat, he doubled off of Matt Cain and came around to score in a 4-3 loss by the World team.

Díaz maintained a good average in 2005, batting .294/.325/.376 for Dunedin. He again shared honors as the postseason All-Star catcher, this time opposite Danilo Sanchez. He led Florida State League backstops in errors (15) and passed balls (26), though. In 2006, he returned to Dunedin and hit .306/.341/.383, with a .349 mark against southpaws. He led FSL catchers in errors (12) but was fourth in the league in batting average and made the league All-Star team.

In 2007, Díaz hit .316/.344/.409 for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and .338/.358/.431 in his first 19 AAA games, for the Syracuse Chiefs to raise his career minor league batting average to .306 though his OBP and slugging were both under .400. He again played in the Futures Game. Starting at catcher for the World team in the 2007 Futures Game, he singled against Chuck Lofgren in the second inning and stole second against Bryan Anderson. In the 4th, he singled again, this time versus Kevin Mulvey, advancing Max Ramirez to third; Ramirez would score on a fly. Geovany Soto replaced Díaz at catcher for the World team in the 7-2 win. Díaz was now 3 for 3 in Futures Game action.

Díaz started 2008 with the Syracuse Chiefs and hit .368/.390/.553 in 11 games; he got the first hit in all of the minor leagues that season. Robinzon Díaz was called up to Toronto when Frank Thomas was released on April 20, 2008. He made his major league debut with the Blue Jays on April 23 at Tampa Bay, going 0 for 4 as the starting designated hitter and batting 8th in a game played in Orlando, FL. In his first major league at-bat, he faced Jason Hammel and grounded out to Akinori Iwamura. He was plagued by injuries, spending time with the GCL Blue Jays (.386/.420/.591 in 15 G), Dunedin Blue Jays (.320/.320/.480 in 6 games) and Syracuse (.244/.266/.336 in 36) in addition to his time in the majors. He was then traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jose Bautista and appeared for the Indianapolis Indians (5 for 14) and the Pirates (3 for 6) to complete a 6-stop season.

Díaz was just 20 for 99 in the 2008 Dominican League, splitting time between two teams.

Díaz was involved in a duel for the backup catching job for Pittsburgh in spring training in 2009, losing out to Jason Jaramillo. He went 7 for 20 for Indianapolis then was called up when Ryan Doumit was injured. Backing up Jaramillo and playing regularly, Díaz hit .295/.314/.375 in 31 games. When Doumit came off the DL, Díaz was sent back to Indianapolis with the idea of making him more of a utility player.

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