Hot start has Cards' Diaz among NL leaders

Hot start has Cards' Diaz among NL leaders

PHOENIX -- There was a moment earlier this week when, as Aledmys Diaz stepped into the batter's box, Adam Wainwright turned to his teammates and asked them to set the odds that Diaz would get a hit. Fifty percent, one responded.

Incredibly, those odds were rooted in fact.

Diaz, who was hitting .500 after his first 52 career at-bats, woke up on Thursday and, for the first time this season, could see his name listed among the league leaders. It took five plate appearances on Wednesday for Diaz to register enough to qualify for inclusion. Once he did, he soared to the top.

Diaz entered Thursday ranking first in the Majors in average (.468), on-base percentage (.500), slugging percentage (.823) and OPS (1.323). He is the only hitter to rank ahead of reigning National League MVP Award winner Bryce Harper of the Nationals in the latter two offensive categories, and his batting average was 77 points higher than the second player on the list, Washington's Daniel Murphy.

Diaz had his seven-game hitting streak snapped in St. Louis' 3-0 loss to the D-backs on Thursday night.

Keep in mind that Diaz's sensational start has come from a player who wasn't even on the Opening Day roster. It took an injury to outfielder Tommy Pham for Diaz to receive his big league summons.

Diaz's solo home run

"It's incredible," Wainwright said, marveling at what the rookie shortstop has done this month. "He's putting on a show."

"I just like watching everything he's doing right now," added manager Mike Matheny. "He's just taking quality at-bats every single time he walks up there."

Diaz continues to do his damage as an eight-hole hitter, too. Believing it's unnecessary to fix something that he doesn't believe is broken, Matheny has chosen not to budge on that lineup placement just yet.

From that spot, Diaz went 14-for-26 on the road trip. As for the growing recognition he may get now that his name has cracked the stat sheet, Diaz seems unfazed.

"There are a lot of great hitters in the big leagues," Diaz said. "I'm very privileged to be in that spot right now. I don't focus too much on getting two or three hits per game. I just want to go out there and give 100 percent for my team."

Worth noting

• The Cardinals will announce their 2016 Hall of Fame class during a FOX Sports Midwest pregame show at 6 p.m. CT on Friday. The class will include two from the eight-player ballot that was recently put up for a fan vote, a veteran player selected by the Red Ribbon committee, and possibly a fourth individual chosen by the organization.

Matt Holliday will be featured as part of the Cardinals' Speaker Series event at 11:30 a.m. CT on May 19 at Busch Stadium. The event will be highlighted by a 45-minute Q&A session with Holliday, who will be the first current Cardinals player to participate in the series. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/speakerseries.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.