The missing WBC Diamond

by on January 11, 2013

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* LHP Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ont.), who pitched for Canada in the 2009 WBC, is on the comeback road after minor elbow surgery last month. The Team Ontario grad, who played for coach Danny Thompson, won’t be able to pitch to Canada in March in the World Baseball Classic but the Twins are hoping he’ll be ready to make his opening day start in April ….

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By Liam McGuire

Guelph native Scott Diamond may not have an overpowering repertoire, but the 25-year-old proved in 2013 that he belongs.

Despite not receiving any Rookie of the Year votes, Diamond impressed with the Minnesota Twins.

Diamond was the only Twins starter to start more than 20 games (27), win more than six games (12), throw more than 110 innings (173) and was the only starter to finish the season with an ERA under four.

By all accounts, Diamond had a very impressive rookie season, his 12 wins were 27% of the total wins by Minnesota starters also having 18.4% of the teams total wins

Comparably to Yu Darvish, the Texas Rangers pitcher who placed third overall in Rookie voting, Diamond had a better ERA (3.54 versus 3.90) and a better walks per nine inning (1.6 versus 4.2 — best in the American league).

Diamond’s success didn’t come out of the blue. His minor-league career echoes his breakout rookie year, including a debut in 2008 in which he won 15 games in the Atlanta Braves organization.

Diamond went on to win 28 games in three minor league seasons, only losing 20 and keeping his ERA a tad over three.

Diamond appeared for Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic where he made a relief appearance for Canada at the Rogers Centre.

He was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2010 Rule 5 draft and eventually the Twins made a trade to keep him allowing them to demote him to triple-A Rochester.

His first season in the Twins organization was a disaster. Despite making his MLB debut, Diamond went a combined 5-19 between Triple-A Rochester and Minnesota. While his trademark control was still in tact, Diamond became extremely hittable, allowing a career high 11.6 walks per nine innings in Rochester.

Diamond however, would quickly put the 2011 season behind him. After a very successful start with Rochester which saw him win four of his first six games, he was called up to the Twins in the first week of May, and never looked back. In a terrible season with the Twins, Diamond shined.

His control will keep in the majors, but Diamond still has much that needs to be refined in his game. In his 27 starts he allowed 17 home runs and 184 hits (9.6 per nine innings).

If Diamond didn’t walk as phew batters as he did in 2012, its likely those amount of hits against him would haunt him, and if he doesn’t lower the rate, it will.

The lefty still needs refinement in his game but his rookie season leaves a lot to be positive about. Diamond may always be overlooked because he doesn’t overwhelm opposing batters, but what shouldn’t be overlooked is his ability to outsmart them.

He was scheduled to be one of Canada’s starters for manager Ernie Whitt in the World Baseball Classic this March, but minor elbow surgery had the Twins scratch him from international competition.

GM Terry Ryan still hopes Diamond will be ready by opening day.

Liam McGuire
Liam was formerly the editor-in-chief of St. Thomas University’s student newspaper, The Aquinian, and now serves as a writer and a social media intern for Canadian Baseball Network. Liam has always been a fan of advanced stats and looking beyond the box score.

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