Daza started the year ranked just behind Hilliard at #10 on MLB.com’s team prospect rankings. He had performed adequately at Double-A Hartford in 2018, establishing a reputation as a line-drive hitter with the defensive tools needed to handle center field.
Daza earned brief call-ups in both April and May. However, he failed to impress in that time. He managed only one hit in his 18 at-bats, striking out five times to only one walk. Daza was sent back to Albuquerque until August when his .364/.404/.548 batting line (and the gaping hole in center field) convinced the team to give him another look.
Unfortunately, Daza again failed to make the same kind of contact at the major league level that he had in the minors. For the season, he hit .206/.257/.237, which equates to an OPS+ of just 22.
Daza’s rookie status will be intact for 2020, though it remains to be seen if he’ll make the team. Hilliard’s emergence, plus the return of David Dahl would seem to limit his potential at-bats, though maybe there’s some space for him as a right-handed hitting fifth outfielder.