Former MLBer Hector Santiago, MiLBer Edwin Diaz Will Play in P.R.’s Doble A League in 2024

Hector Santiago of the Seattle Mariners pitches during the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at T-Mobile Park on July 11, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Two players from the 2023 Puerto Rico World Baseball Classic squad will play in the 2024 Liga de Beisbol Super Doble A regular season. 

Left-handed pitcher Hector Santiago will play with the Titanes de Florida and infielder Edwin Diaz Santiago will play with the Próceres de Barranquitas during the 2024 season, the league announced on January 14. 

Santiago, 36, was born in Newark, N.J., and played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Chicago White Sox from 2011-13, the Los Angeles Angels from 2014-16, Minnesota Twins from 2016-17, the Chicago White Sox in 2018, the New York Mets in 2019, the Chicago White Sox in 2019, and the Seattle Mariners in 2021. 

Santiago was an All-Star in 2015 with the Angels during his MLB career. 

Santiago played in the 2023-24 winter league season with Leones de Ponce in Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico and posted a 0-2 record with a 5.14 ERA, throwing 21 innings in five starts and allowing 17 hits, 12 earned runs, two home runs, 10 walks, 17 strikeouts, and a 1.286 WHIP.  

Last season, Santiago played in Liga Mexicana de Beisbol with the Acereros de Monclova, making nine starts with a 3-1 record, posting a 4.84 ERA and throwing 44.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, 24 earned runs, seven home runs, 24 walks, 41 strikeouts, and a 1.254 WHIP. 

During the 2023 WBC, Santiago appeared in one game against Venezuela out of the bullpen, going 2.1 innings with a 7.71 ERA, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and struck out one batter.

In 10 seasons in MLB, Santiago has a career record of 48-51 with a 4.12 ERA in 270 appearances and 140 starts, throwing 947 innings and allowing 877 hits, 434 earned runs, 145 home runs, 440 walks, 856 strikeouts, and a 1.391 WHIP. 

Diaz will play with the Próceres de Barranquitas for the 2024 LBSDA regular season, the league announced on January 14.  

Diaz, 28, was born in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, and played 10 seasons in the minor leagues. 

During the 2023-24 winter league season with Leones de Ponce, Diaz played in 35 games, batting .245 in 139 plate appearances with 26 hits, six doubles, four home runs, 14 RBI, 25 walks, and 32 strikeouts. 

Last season, Diaz played with Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester in the Boston Red Sox organization, the Saraperos de Saltillo in the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, and the Kansas City Monarchs in the American Association. 

Diaz was assigned to Double-A Portland on April 5 and played in 13 games, hitting .091 with four hits, one double, one triple, two home runs, seven RBI, four walks, and 19 strikeouts before being promoted to Triple-A Worcester on May 9. 

Diaz played in two games in Worcester batting .333, his one hit being a home run, walked once and struck out twice before being released on May 18 by Boston. 

Diaz signed with the Kansas City Monarchs on May 27 and played in 18 games, hitting .217 with 15 hits, four doubles, one triple, three home runs, 11 RBI, six walks, and 19 strikeouts before heading to Mexico. 

Diaz signed as a free agent to the Saraperos de Salitillo on June 20 and played in 41 games, making 173 plate appearances and hitting .240 with 37 hits, eight doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 23 RBI, 14 walks, 53 strikeouts, and a .803 OPS. 

At the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Diaz replaced shortstop Francisco Lindor in the lineup and played second base defensively during a combined no-hitter against Israel, which ended in eight innings due to the mercy rule.

In his 10 seasons in the minor leagues, Diaz has played in 732 games with 2,819 at-bats, hitting .213 with 529 hits, 127 doubles, 16 triples, 72 home runs, 306 RBI, 17 stolen bases, 259 walks, 840 strikeouts, and a .659 OPS. 

The player selection was formatted by the LBDSA player selection on January 14. 

The Federacion de Beisbol de Puerto Rico operates the Liga de Beisbol Super Doble A. 

The 2024 Liga de Beisbol Superior Doble-A regular season will start on February 11. 

The FBPR will operate with eight divisions across the island with the Central, Eastern, Metro, Northwest, North, Southern, Southeast, and Southwest regions for the LBSDA. 

In 2023, Arenas de Camuy of Seccion Norte won their first championship, beating Toritos de Cayey of Sección Central in seven games.   

The top four winners of each division will play in a section semifinal best-of-seven series in June to advance to the section final round best-of-seven series in July. 

Each division will have a section final with the remaining top two teams playing in a best-of-seven series in July and will advance to the next round of the 2024 LBSDA season. 

The remainder of the playoffs will carry over from August onto the finals which will happen during the middle and late September time frame for the 2024 LBSDA season. 

There will be 45 teams from across the island playing in the 2024 LBSDA regular season.

The FBPR has not yet announced the full schedule for the 2024 LBSDA regular season.

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