The Nationals reportedly made at least one Sunday signing of an undrafted free agent. Infielder Gio Diaz of St. Mary's College confirmed through a school release that he had joined the Nationals for the $20,000 signing bonus.
Diaz played mostly second base and third base, slashing .396/.442/.417 in 13 games during the shortened 2020 campaign for the Gaels. The .396 batting average was sixth-best in the West Coast Conference. He only struck out two times in 53 plate appearances, good for ninth-best in the NCAA.
As a sophomore, Diaz committed only three errors with 65 assists on defense in 49 games. He started 42 of those contests, notching 45 hits with eight doubles, 10 walks and 20 RBIs.
"I'm really excited, not only because the Nationals are a great organization coming off a World Series championship, but because of the relationship I have with Brian Byrne, the area scout for the Nationals," Diaz said in the school-issued release. "He really liked me and believed in me this past year. From what is told to me, they develop their minor league players to become big league players better than most organizations, which intrigued me. The deal was the best for both sides and I'm happy to join the Nationals organization."
Diaz is a 5-foot-11, 170-lb. junior. The right-handed hitter attended Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif. He was the leadoff hitter and played second base for the Gaels to begin this season. He also has played shortstop and third base. Against No. 10 UCLA, he batted third in the lineup in two of the three games of the series. He missed a few games at the end of the season due to injury. Diaz returned as a defensive replacement but lasted just a half inning in the final game of the year versus Nevada prior to the coronavirus shutdown.
At Heritage, Diaz was named a 2017 Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and was a three-time letter winner for the Patriots.
Diaz played last summer for the Bethesda Big Train of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Congratulations to Gio Diaz (Big Train 2019) on signing a contract with the @Nationals! Welcome back to the DMV, Gio. pic.twitter.com/lF1cm4YDbU-- Bethesda Big Train (@GoBigTrain) June 14, 2020
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