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Scout's View: Thomas Diamond
By Will Kimmey
Thomas Diamond, rhp, New Orleans
Diamond grew up in Kenner, La., and wanted to play for Tulane. New Orleans was the only school to offer him a scholarship, however, so he went there even after the Devil Rays made him a 38th-round draft pick out of high school in 2001. It has paid off for Diamond and the Privateers, as he's now the best pitcher in the state and a likely first-round pick in this year's draft. Diamond was 5-3, 2.81 with 98 strikeouts and 28 walks in 74 innings this season and tied a school and Sun Belt Conference record with 17 strikeouts against Arkansas State. A scout broke down the 6-foot-2, 231-pounder's repertoire:
"His stuff has been a little inconsistent, but it's been very good the last five to six weeks, and it's getting better as the season goes on. His fastball is a heavy downer that I've seen up to 97 (mph), but it's mostly 93-94. Last time out I saw him at 96 in the ninth inning. He throws it to both sides of the plate and at a downhill angle. He's a bull with a strong build.
"I'd ditch the curveball; he doesn't need it because his slider is better. It's late, quick and hard at 83-84. His change is 79-82, and it fades down (in the zone) at the end.
"He's one of the top college righthanders in the country. I don't think he gets out of the top 10 picks. People say he doesn't face a lot of competition in the Sun Belt, but those Rice guys don't either in the WAC. He compares with them."