- Rating: 2.09 (please explain yourself if you gave a rating of 4 or higher...was that for showing gratitude to him showing up at the plate?)
- 2022 stats: 3G, 6 AB, .000/.000/.000, -100 OPS+, -0.1 bWAR
- Date of birth: April 2, 1992 (30 years old)
- 2022 earnings: $46,152 (via Spotrac)
- 2023 status: DFA’d by the Diamondbacks in September 2022, now a free agent.
If you want to have an example of the total gamble the MLB international signings are, then the class of 2010 is a pretty good lesson learned. The top international signing was the Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, who initially signed for $2.9MM but saw his bonus reduced to $1.1MM once a physical revealed shoulder problems. The kid never made it out of A+.
Wilmer Difo was of that 2010 international signing class as well and if you were into Fantasy Dynasty back then, good chance you didn’t sign him. The Washington Nationals did though, in real life, for just $20,000.
I don’t think he was ever much of a prospect in Washington and his debut in 2015 in the majors came out of the blue, skipping AAA altogether. He was a regular on the 2017 and 2018 Nationals, but when Washington won the World Series in 2019 his role was already reduced to that of a bench player. After the shortened 2020 season he was released and signed a minor league deal in Pittsburgh.
Difo enjoyed a fine season with the Pirates where he got on base regularly and played in 116 games. By the end of the season and ahead of the Rule 5 draft, Difo was outrighted for the second time during the season by the Pirates and chose free agency.
Mid March 2022 the Diamondbacks announced they had signed Wimer Difo to a minor league contract.
2022 in review
The marriage didn’t start that well. Visa problems prevented Wilmer Difo from taking camp with the Diamondbacks and it wasn’t until April 16 that the issues were resolved and the Dominican could report to training.
He then first took the field in Reno on April 23, but went down with an injury two weeks later and didn’t return to action until early June. After that the performance was nothing to write home about with a very disappointing .709 OPS for the Aces.
Then, when no one didn’t really expect it no more, the Diamondbacks all of a sudden selected his contract on September 1, after designating Noe Ramirez for assignment.
Difo took the field 3 times for the Diamondbacks and because I have to get to the minimum of words for this article, I will mention all 3 games:
- September 2, Milwaukee Brewers @ Diamondbacks: 3 AB, no hits, 1 SO.
- September 7, Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres: 0 AB.
- September 10, Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies: 3 AB, no hits.
On September 12 the Diamondbacks designated Difo for assignment. The switch hitter cleared waivers and chose free agency since he had the right to do so.
If I am correct, he is the first position player in Diamondbacks history to have had 6 at bats and go hitless in them, so at least we have that to tell our kids and grandchildren once you finish reading this review.
Wilmer Difo will sign a minor league contract somewhere and, hopefully, he will have more success in both AAA and MLB than he had in 2022.
More interestingly though is the question what his walk-up song will be. In the past he surprised people with choosing songs like “Unchained Melody”, “My Girl” and, in Pittsburgh, Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody”. In Arizona he had a gentle one as well, a Christian one, which isn’t really my kind of stuff, but I will share it anyhow here below.