Yusniel Efrain Diaz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 195 lb.
Outfielder Yusniel Diaz played in the Cuban National League with the Industriales de La Habana in 2014-15, hitting .348 at age 17. He defected after that season and eventually signed a large contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who payed him a reported signing bonus of $15.5 million to sign as international free agent in October 2015. They had to pay a 100% luxury tax penalty for exceeding their bonus allocation with this signing and a couple others, but felt that Yusniel's potential justified the expense.
He began his professional career in 2016 with the AZL Dodgers and was quickly promoted to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League. In 85 games, he hit .267/.326/.415 with 9 homers and 57 RBIs. In 2017, he split his time between Rancho Cucamonga and the AA Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League, hitting a combined .292/.354/.433 in 114 games, with 23 doubles, 11 homers and 52 RBIs. He began the 2018 season back at Tulsa and was named to the World team for the 2018 Futures Game, played on July 15th at Nationals Park. There, he put his power potential on display by hitting two long balls as the World team lost 10-6, in a slugfest featuring 8 homers. He was only the second player to homer twice in the history of the game, with Alfonso Soriano having done so in 1999. Having made his coming out on a big stage, three days later, on July 18th, he was the centerpiece of a five-prospect package sent to the Baltimore Orioles in order to land All-Star SS Manny Machado.