Scott Diamond became the first Binghamton University baseball player to reach the major leagues when he was selected to join the Minnesota Twins for the 2011 season.
Diamond, 24, is a former Binghamton pitcher and senior engineering student who made headlines earlier this year for being the first Binghamton player to crack triple-A baseball.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity and I’m very excited to be a member of the Twins,” Diamond said.
A standout pitcher for the Bearcats, Diamond won 37 games for Binghamton from 2005 to 2007, before leaving school to try his hand at professional baseball. In 2008 he pitched for the Class A Rome Braves and advanced to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, where he was named pitcher of the year. He was called up to the double-A Mississippi Braves last year.
“My goal from the beginning of the 2010 season was to start in triple-A,” Diamond said in a late-summer interview, but spring training setbacks had him starting the season in Mississippi. During the All-Star break he was touring New Orleans with his girlfriend when he received the call-up to triple-A. “It was a rewarding feeling that showed that all the work I had put in was finally paying off,” he said.
Diamond’s first win for the Gwinnett County Braves was a 3-1 victory over the Rochester Red Wings. “That first win was incredible,” Diamond said, adding that he was pleased to finish the season for Gwinnett with a respectable 4-1 record and 3.36 ERA.
In the off-season, Diamond was planning to take some online courses to finish up his degree.
“This is a great opportunity for Scott … one that he absolutely deserves,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki in reaction to Diamond’s elevation to the majors.
In an earlier interview, Sinicki offered this prescient assessment of Diamond’s skills: “Scott has learned the art of pitching, and once you do that, it can take you a long way.” While Diamond won’t “blow anyone away with a 90 mph-plus fast ball, his control, coupled with the ability to throw all his pitches,” will win games at any level.
Diamond praised his coaches at Binghamton for teaching him the physical and mental sides of the game. He also learned important lessons in the classroom: “The engineering aspect has helped me become very structured and concrete in my thinking on the mound.” For example, in discussing his pitching mechanics, he said he tries to “identify potential problems, determine the solution and solve or execute.” Diamond said that having a laser-like focus is especially important as he climbed closer to the majors. “Moving through the system, you almost have to become a pitching coach for yourself — you have to be [extremely] prepared and ready for your next start.”
And now he knows where that next start will be. “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,” he said.
Diamond was tapped in the Rule 5 draft.