Jays' prospect Yennsy Diaz discusses his acclimation process

   
  
   
  
    
  
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   Toronto Blue Jays' prospect Yennsy Diaz at the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin, Fla. The Dominican right-handed pitcher had a season of ups and downs in 2017 and hopes to improve his form in 2018. Photo Credit: Bruno Pizarro

Toronto Blue Jays' prospect Yennsy Diaz at the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin, Fla. The Dominican right-handed pitcher had a season of ups and downs in 2017 and hopes to improve his form in 2018. Photo Credit: Bruno Pizarro

By Bruno Pizarro

Toronto Observer

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Yennsy Diaz says weather and language have been his most difficult challenges since arriving from Dominican Republic.

The right-handed pitcher left the island in 2016, two years after being drafted, and immediately saw the difference.

“During my first year in the U.S., the worst problem was the heat, because I came in the summer and it was very hot,” he said. “It’s hot In the Dominican Republic, but there’s a lot of wind and breeze.

“Here in Florida it’s also hot, but the humidity and the wind are completely different.”

Over time, the Dominican got used to the weather and started to adapt to life outside his homeland. However, the language is still an obstacle, and Diaz is working hard to break that wall.

“When I got here, my second worry was the English, but I’m learning it. Every day I learn something new and get to understand people better,” he said.

As for baseball, the player from Azua is working hard on his pitches.

“I want to get better in my breaking ball, in my curve, my consistency, and my focus,” said Diaz. “In 2018, I want to have a good year, be healthy, have strength, and reach the big leagues.”

The Toronto Blue Jays added the pitcher in 2014 and he was assigned to the DSL Blue Jays in 2015. The year after that, Diaz was assigned to the Rookie ball Bluefield Blue Jays and when 2017 came in, he was promoted to low-A Lansing Lugnuts.

Playing in the Midwest League, he had a season full of ups and downs but was able to make a good impression. The Dominican went 5-2 with a 4.79 ERA over 16 starts.