He hit very well in spells in Bowie, but tended to get hurt and start slowly when he came back. So, his cumulative stats MAY not be an indicator of his true talent. Additionally, the coaches/management see him and have the modern equipment to better evaluate that question (e.g., his true talent, expected future performance) than "old" stats like batting average in the context of injuries might indicate.
With that said, I'm not convinced that his true talent actually matches his original hype when signed by the Dodgers or traded to the O's. Tony's write-ups raise serious questions in that regard, so I don't think you're wrong to want to see some performance before promoting him. But I suspect the people you're arguing with in this thread actually agree about that point.
So, by your post above, you agree that the Iglesias trade does fit into what we'd expect Elias to be doing ("building inventory"), correct?
As for free agents, I can imagine him wanting to spend BIG in a place where he might not think we have answers during a competitive period. So at SS or 2B, for example, I'd expect he might hold off on a big name guy because he might think we have our own big name guys 2-3 years away, so the paying part wouldn't make sense re: a competitive team. Same for 3B, outfield, catcher and even pitcher.
I honestly think that 90% of what he's doing is consistent with what I would expect him to do given a complete rebuild. The one part I agree with is the opportunity to take on bigger contracts in exchange for more prospects. I too wish we'd go that route. I think the next level example of that is signing a guy like Cobb (e.g., more expensive than Iglesias) and hoping for performance so you can trade him. I think the cost/risk equation there gets a little out of hand though.
I live in a world where you prove you deserve a promotion. Producing at your current role is the indicator. Most players produce less at the majors than they did in the minors....Notice I said most! Analytics helps and I'm happy we have them. But they stats are the stats and why think a guy is ready to do better at the majors than he's done at AA? .262 is pretty mediocre. What is it about Bowie that would lead you to believe that he'd do better at the majors.
Scenario ..... its 2021 in July and Diaz is hitting .260/.315/750 at AA. Why do you think he'd be better against MLB pitching? Analystics? I'm pretty sure they are using the same data in the minors now right?