Few players in this year’s Rule 5 Draft have less flashy skills than the twelfth pick, lefty Scott Diamond. Does that make him a bad pick?
Look, the Rule 5 has a few possible outcomes.
1.) The player gets sent back to his original team.
2.) The player stays on the big league roster all year, but essentially makes it a 24-man roster because he has nothing to contribute. The next year, he’s sent down and never heard from significantly again.
3.) Same as 2, except the player comes back and succeeds in later years.
4.) The player sticks around and is a passable contributor, but doesn’t develop much further.
5.) The player sticks around and does well for years.
Obviously, every team is hoping for scenario 5, but is it really terrible to hedge one’s bets and go for the third or fourth ones when you know the first two happen an overwhelming majority of the time?
Scott Diamond is a Triple-A-tested lefthander. He’s not flashy by any stretch, working his three-pitch mix on the corners and hoping for the best, rarely striking out batters. Still, the 24-year-old posted a well-deserved 3.36 ERA in Triple-A last year, which means that he’s basically ready to be a fifth starter or middle reliever. With his stuff, it’d be a shock to see Diamond turn into much beyond that, but if the Twins get six years of MLB-worthy production from this pick, their fans shouldn’t complain. It’s a low-upside gamble, but the safe choice isn’t always the wrong choice.