|Lefthander Scott Diamond has taken the long road to being a prospect but is now on the cusp of the major leagues. A nondrafted free agent out of Binghamton, Diamond signed with the Braves in 2007 and reached Triple-A in 2010. His four-pitch mix features a curveball that can be a plus pitch, and BA pegged him as one of the likeliest Rule 5 draft picks
As expected, he was selected, with Minnesota making him the 12th player taken in the major league phase of the Rule 5. Monday, the Twins decided they wanted to keep Diamond but not on their Opening Day roster, as they’d have to by Rule 5 rules. Instead, they shipped righthander Billy Bullock to the Braves to keep Diamond. In so doing, they traded their No. 15 prospect (Bullock) for the right to keep their No. 29 prospect (Diamond).
|Scott Diamond, lhp
Born: July 30, 1986 in Guelph, Ontario.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 210. Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by
Diamond had a solid spring, pitching six innings and giving up one run, although he also walked six. The Twins had plenty of competition for lefthanded relief roles in their bullpen, with Jose Mijares joined by out-of-options Glen Perkins and minor league veteran Dusty Hughes, who tossed 10 scoreless innings himself. A blister issue limited Diamond to those six spring appearances, and the Twins didn’t get a long enough look at him. At his best, Diamond has shown fringe-to-average fastball velocity at 86-91 mph, and his overhand arm slot gives him a curveball that has been his best pitch throughout his minor league career. He throws downhill, helping him limit damage and be stingy with home runs (just 19 in 442 career innings), and throws his slider and changeup for strikes to combat righthanded hitters. He’ll head to Triple-A Rochester as rotation insurance.
|Billy Bullock, rhp
Born: Feb. 27. 1988 in Brandon, Fla.
Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 225. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Twins in second round of 2009 draft; signed June 16, 2009.
Bullock has the size and fastball to profile as an intimidating closer and reached Double-A in his first full season. While he had some command issues with 43 walks in 75 innings, he used his 92-94 mph fastball that touches 95-96 to get most of his outs via strikeouts or groundouts. His slider and changeup have their moments, with his slider ranking as his best secondary pitch. The improvement of pitchers such as Dakota Watts, Kane Holbrooks and 2008 first-rounder Carlos Gutierrez (who had a strong spring) made Bullock somewhat redundant for the Twins, but they still surrendered a power arm to keep Diamond, making him a good get for Atlanta.