Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Underrated 2022 Draft Picks

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Ole Miss pitcher Derek Diamond (2) delivers a pitch to the plate as he pitches against Vanderbilt during the SEC Tournament Tuesday, May 26, 2021, in the Hoover Met in Hoover, Alabama. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Tournament Vanderbilt Vs Ole Miss /

RHP Derek Diamond

Right-hander Derek Diamond was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the draft. Diamond did not have very good numbers in college, but that doesn’t reflect his talent. Diamond has some decent stuff that has significantly improved this year.

The Ole Miss product pitched 161.1 innings in college but had a 5.69 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. His 21.2% strikeout rate was poor, but his home run rate of 1.9-per-9 was the worst number on his college resume. On the plus side, he didn’t dish out a ton of walks. He had a quality 6.7% walk rate, but that was one of the very few highlights among his numbers.

But as I stated earlier, those numbers don’t fully represent what he can do. Diamond consistently hits the upper-90s with his fastball, a significant uptick from what he showed off in his final college season. He’ll also throw a cutter in the upper-80s and curveball in the upper-70s. All of his offerings have distinct velocity, which could help him throw batters off.

Diamond has faced 15 batters professionally for Bradenton. He’s only allowed three hits, has struck out four, and only one has reached via free pass. Small sample size disclaimer, but his stuff has gotten out the batters he has squared off against so far. If he can play to his ability, he could be a decent arm in the near-term future. Diamond’s strong suit is his pitchability and projectability. According to Prospects Live, most believe that he’s yet to reach his full potential.