HomeSportsYilber Díaz and an endearing journey to fulfill his dream

Yilber Díaz and an endearing journey to fulfill his dream

The Venezuelan signed the professional at almost 21 years old after a journey of discovery and hard work

Life in general and baseball have two things in common: There are hundreds of stories of perseverance and improvement; to never give up no matter how difficult the situation is, but each one has a unique nuance that makes them endearing. That is the case of Yilber Diaz, the boy from Guatire who, based on hard work and resilience for never giving up on his dream, for being “someone in life” as he himself said, became the 482nd player born in Venezuela to debut in the Major Leagues and the ninth to do so this year.

And how he debuted, leaving the powerful Atlanta Braves offense in a race for six episodes, in front of their audience; at Chase Field, with the team -Arizona Rattlesnakes- that gave him his first opportunity in professional baseball by signing him for just 10 thousand dollars in February 2021 when he was already approaching 21 years old, a really low amount considering the figures that are seen today.

Read also: Yilber Díaz debuted in style against Atlanta

However, behind that there is much more, a journey; literally, where there was a lot of understanding, discovery and above all struggle to achieve your dream. We're talking about five years ago, he was 18 years old and went to Peru to sell candy, ice cream and desserts to help his family in Venezuela. That, while he was training on a soccer field and preparing for his return to the country to obtain the long-awaited signature.

Accelerated promotion through branches

Such was Yilber Díaz's desire to reach the 'Big Show' that his rise through the Cascabeles branch system was very rapid. The fact that he signed five years later than the average of young players currently arriving in so-called organized baseball did not matter. In fact, MLB Pipeline currently has him rated as the 16th best prospect of the franchise that lives in Phoenix.

“I feel very happy, my mom and dad were there (on the phone) and I told them the news. It was impressive,” the 23-year-old right-hander said in a Dbacks audiovisual about the moment of his call to the big team. "I always said: 'I have to improve myself and be someone in life.' That is why he worked and asked God every day for my dream to come true.”

A few hours before receiving the call of his life, he had been named Player of the Week in the Pacific Coast League with the Reno Aces (Triple-A affiliate of the deserts). That, after setting a personal high for strikeouts in his Minor League career (13) during a start on July XNUMX, where he pitched six innings without hits or runs against the Sacramento River Cats (Giants).

And the punch is its letter of introduction. MLB.com details that last year; in which he pitched more than 100 innings for the first time as a professional (102.2), his 31.8% guillotining rate was the ninth best among 272 Minor League pitchers with triple-digit pitches. That, in a year in which he divided his performance between Class-A Advanced (Hillsboro) and Double-A Yellow.

For Yilber Díaz, work was and is everything

Even this year he was still working; all to reach the Majors, his fastball reaches 98mph with an average above 90 - as seen against Atlanta -, a curve above 70 and a changeup a little below 80 miles. The Dbacks were excited about the idea of ​​him working on a third secondary delivery, since he added a slider that borders on 80mph and which was one of his allies against Atlanta; With it he was able to eliminate many of his rivals.

His message for humanity and young dreamers; As a believer, he is focused on hard work as the only catalyst to achieve his dreams. “Do not diminish (your effort), it is very important to work and kneel to God every day.”

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