C-1B Owen Diodati, 29th round (867th overall) - Toronto Blue Jays
With their 29th round (867th overall) pick, the Toronto Blue Jays have selected C-1B Owen Diodati.
Hometown: Niagara Falls, Ont.
Height/Weight: 6’ 3” 200 lbs.
College Commitment: University of Alabama
Teams: Great Lake Canadians, Canadian Junior National Team.
Coaches: Adam Stern, Chris Robinson, Greg Hamilton
Previous Teams: Niagara Falls Falcons, Canisius Jr. Griffs
Previous Coaches: Mike McRae, Ryan Diodati, Chris Gruarin, Ron Bernick
Most influential person in my baseball life: “My dad (Ryan Diodati), who taught me from a young age what it means to be a leader and how important it is to have a good work ethic. Plus he has always been there through highs and the lows of my career. He’s been there for me to keep me level headed. He leads by example and aside from physically teaching me how to play at a young age, pushed me to be the best I can be on and off the field. My Mom (Jody) has also been very influential on the other side of things. She has been the one that drives me to practices, cooks pre game meals and evens out my dad’s toughness with a softer side. I am lucky to have both of them.”
Good genes: Father Ryan Diodati played shortstop and third base for the Niagara Purple Eagles earning the Kevin Mulkern Senior Athletic award given annually to the senior student-athlete who has the highest ideals of sportsmanship, competition and fair play in the spirit of Niagara in 1994. He also played all kinds of sports in high school ... Grandfather Doug Rombough played in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Minnesota North Stars ... Owen was selected in 2017 OHL draft by North Bay Battalion.
The most influential people in my baseball life, besides my dad: “My entire coaching staff with the Great Lake Canadians. I would not be the player I am today without them. The environment they have created in the program is like nowhere else and makes the drive from Niagara to London three times a week more than worth it. Chris Robinson, Adam Stern, Adam Arnold and Brock Kjeldgaard specifically have been there to push me in all aspects of the game to be the best I can be. I feel like they have not only made me a better player but have taught me things I can use for the rest of my life outside the sport. I can’t thank them and the rest of the staff enough for all they do for me and my development.”
Scout: Kory Lafreniere
Twitter Handle: @owendiodati
By Vincent Cervino
Diodati is a big, physical lefthanded hitting catcher for the Canadian Junior National team who bats in the four hole. Diodati possesses above-average raw power and the swing is short, simple and direct to the baseball where he can impact it with significant strength. The Alabama signee is very balanced and confident in the box with a very quiet start and a small stride toward extension. The swing is compact and quick through the hitting zone with a path that is conducive to strength and fly balls. The barrel stays through the hitting zone a long time for Diodati with natural loft as well. Diodati has good plate discipline as well, reading tough pitches out of the hand and waiting patiently for a pitch to drive. This can backfire at times such as his final at-bat where he worked the count to 3-0, took two fastballs to get to 3-2, and then swung and miss through an elevated heater. It would be nice to see Diodati a bit more aggressive and let his power shine through. He leverages well to the pull side and though he didn’t connect with any long fly balls in game, he showed the power during batting practice and he’s had a bit of helium to his prospect status as we get closer to the draft.
Diodati is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound lefthanded hitting catcher and first baseman. Diodati shows a feel to hit and has plenty of strength in his swing and regularly lofts balls deep in batting practice and games. He works from a quiet set up, with his bat resting on his shoulder and doesn’t have much pre-pitch movement or noise in his load. While Diodati both catcher and first, most think he’ll wind up being a first baseman only, as he is a well below-average defender behind the dish now, with lots of work to do to stick back there. Diodati is committed to Alabama.
2019 season Dominican Summer League tour with Canadian Junior National Team: Hit .302 (13-for-43) with four doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs ... Singled facing Rockies ... Singled off Dodgers pitching ... Run-scoring double against the Yankees ... Three-hit game, including a homer and two RBIs in win over Twins .... Run-scoring single against the Rays ... Run-scoring single facing the Blue Jays ... Singled against the Pirates ... Knocked in a pair in win against the Tigers ... Two-run homer against Royals ... Double, single, RBI against the Cubs … Extended spring trip: Batted .185 (5-for-27) hitting a double, a triple and driving in a pair ... Spring training: batted .105 (2-for-19) with a double and triple.
2018 season Canadian Junior National Team Dominican Summer League trip: Batted .107 (3-for-28) with a double and two RBIs ... Extended spring trip: Hit .250 (4-for-16) with a double in debut with the Junior program in April ... Selection camp: Hit .188 (2-for-16) with a double ... U18 Qualifier: Hit .273 (9-for-33) with two doubles and six RBIs … Participated in East Coast Pro Showcase playing at Fenway Park with a single and a walk, against an all-star team from the Cape Cod loop ... Doubled off the wall at the Rogers Centre for the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team vs. the Red Sox-Yankees Scout Team, one of three Canucks (Others: INF Cesar Valero, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs, LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe, Newmarket, Ont., Toronto Mets) with the Red Sox scout team in Hoover, Ala. … As well he was a Tournament 12 participant.
2017 season: Tournament 12 participant.
Won five straight OBA titles with the Niagara Falls Falcons, coached by Mike McRae (Niagara Falls, Ont.) and Owen’s father, Ryan Diodati, beating North London once, Tecumseh three times and Georgetown once in the final ... One final, Diodati won the game single-handedly going 5-for-5 with two homers, two doubles and a single.