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WEEI » This Just In » Sox give Hamilton, Diaz minor league deals
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 3:00pm  

Sox give Hamilton, Diaz minor league deals

The Red Sox announced the signings of infielder Jonathan Diaz and first baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training camp.

Diaz, 27, was a 12th-round selection in the 2006 draft by Toronto. In seven minor league seasons, the versatile defender has hit .226 with a .358 OBP, .294 slugging mark and .652 OPS. He has split each of the last four seasons between the Blue Jays’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates and has had an on-base percentage of at least .365 three times in his minor league career, albeit with virtually no power. He's played the majority of his games at shortstop, but the 5-foot-9 NC State product has also played second, third and left field. 

Hamilton, 28, was St Louis’s second-round pick in the 2006 draft and played in 47 Major League games for the Cardinals from 2010-11, hitting .197 with a .258 OBP, .246 slugging mark and .503 OPS. However, in seven minor league seasons, he's hit .277/.364/.468/.832, including a .291/.385/.494/.879 line with 41 homers over 277 Triple-A games in the last four years. As recently as two years ago, when he hit 20 homers in 72 games in Memphis, he was rated one of the best power-hitting prospects in the St. Louis system. As a left-handed hitter who can play first and the outfield, he addresses a needed area of organizational depth for the Red Sox. 

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