North Vancouver's Indigo Diaz fires a pitch for the Michigan State Spartans. | MSU Athletic Communications
Note: Indigo Diaz is a Handsworth Secondary alumnus.
By Nick Laba, North Shore News.
Forest Hills Little Leaguers take notice: one of your alumni is about to pitch against some of the best players from around the globe.
On Sunday morning, team Canada will face off against Great Britain in Phoenix, AZ at its first of four preliminary games at the World Baseball Classic.
Canada is one of 20 countries competing for top spot at the international tournament, the first time it’s been held since 2017.
Diaz has been in the minor system for three seasons after being picked by the Atlanta Braves in the 27th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. The 24-year-old right hander is in the New York Yankees organization and is expected to join the Yankees’s AAA affiliate after the World Baseball Classic.
Diaz struck out 63 batters in just under 50 innings with the Mississippi Braves in the AA Southern League. His breakout year was in 2021, striking out 85 batters across 45 innings to earn the AA promotion.
Diaz got his start pitching for the Forest Hills Little League, before moving on to the North Shore Twins and Coquitlam Reds organizations. He then pitched two seasons of college ball at Iowa Western before playing as a junior with the NCAA’s Michigan State Spartans, striking out 50 batters in 42 innings with a 5.91 ERA.
The North Vancouver product will join big-leaguers like Freddie Freeman (Los Angeles Dodgers), Cal Quantrill (Cleveland Guardians) and Matt Brash (Seattle Mariners) on team Canada.
In the preliminary round, the Canadian squad must finish in the top two in its group to advance to the playoff round.
Here’s team Canada’s schedule so far:
- March 12, 12 p.m. vs. Great Britain
- March 13, 7 p.m. vs. United States (defending champion)
- March 14, 12 p.m. vs. Colombia
- March 15, 12 p.m. vs. Mexico
With files from Kyle Balzer