Release: December 9, 2010
VESTAL, N.Y. Former Binghamton baseball pitcher Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ontario) has been selected by the Minnesota Twins in the Rule 5 Draft and will start the 2011 season on the big league 25-man squad. The 24-year-old Diamond becomes the first BU player to reach the major leagues.
After an outstanding summer with the Atlanta Braves organization, Diamond was selected by the Twins with the 27th pick Thursday morning. The Twins now must retain Diamond on the club's 25-man roster through the entire 2011 season to be guaranteed his rights. Recent Rule 5 selections include Josh Hamilton in 2006, Dan Uggla in 2005 and Johan Santana in 1999.
"This is an unbelievable opportunity and I'm very excited to be a member of the Twins," Diamond said. "I have gotten here through hard work and with strong support and I can't wait to contribute in any way I can to such a successful organization."
"This is a great opportunity for Scott one that he absolutely deserves," head coach Tim Sinicki said. "I am extremely proud of him, his steady rise through the minor leagues and the fact that the Twins feel Scott has the ability to be a major league pitcher."
Diamond would've been ranked 24th overall in Talking Chop's top-25 Braves prospects and he was ranked as the sixth-best left-handed starter in the Braves system. But the Braves minor league system is very deep and Diamond was left unprotected, opening the door for him to be selected by any other team that had room on its 40-man roster.
In its Rule 5 analysis, Baseball America wrote that Diamond has a chance to be a No. 5 starter or long reliever for the Twins.
Diamond climbed through the Braves' minor league system without allowing his ERA to rise higher than 3.52 at any level. Last summer, he finished with the Braves' Triple-A Gwinnett team, posting a 4-1 record with a 3.36 ERA. He racked up 33 strikeouts and 15 walks in 56 innings. Diamond held both lefties and righties to a .250 average or lower and averaged 7.27 strikeouts per nine innings over his last two seasons.
Diamond has been a starter throughout his career, but the Twins are optimistic that he can provide another left-handed option in relief for the club.
"The challenge is whether he can fit what our needs are, which the bullpen is where our needs are," said Mike Radcliff, the Twins' vice president of player personnel. "That's probably where he's going to get his opportunity. His pitches and abilities fit that. It's a little bit of a conversion because he's been starting his entire career."
In 158 2/3 innings in 2010 (AA and AAA), Diamond walked 54 and struck out 123. A scouting report on Diamond said that he's been better against lefties for the most part in his career, so perhaps a specialist role could be in the offing.
"This guy has been good all the way through his career," said Vern Followell, the Twins' pro scouting coordinator. "He's had solid numbers, thrown it over [the plate] and he's got a big body. ... He's a guy that's pitched at higher levels and has a better chance than most to make the 25-man roster."
Diamond signed with the Atlanta organization in August 2007.
In three seasons at Binghamton (2005-07), he totalled 14 wins and started 37 games - the most starts of any BU pitcher in that span. An accomplished engineering student while at BU, Diamond is closing in on finishing his bachelor's degree in industrial and systems engineering.
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