The Twins took Braves pitching prospect Scott Diamond in the Rule 5 draft in December, and Diamond was thought to have an outside chance of making the 25-man roster, which is required to remain with the Twins. However, Diamond did not make the team, causing the Twins to either work out a deal with the Braves to keep him or give him back to the Braves.
The Twins and Braves worked out a deal Monday that allowed Diamond to stay in the Twins organization. The Braves acquired pitching prospect Billy Bullock.â†µ
Bullock is a 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-handed reliever from the University of Florida. The 23-year-old has the usual repertoire of a relief prospect, featuring a mid-90s fastball and slider. He recorded a 3.62 ERA and 3.25 FIP in 37.1 A+ innings last season before moving to AA, where he had a 3.44 ERA and 3.20 FIP in 36.2 innings.â†µ
Bullock's K/9 rates have never dipped below 10, reaching as high as 14.73 in AA last season. He is a strikeout pitcher with solid stuff out of the bullpen. However, as is the case with many relief prospects, control is the issue with Bullock. He has never dipped below four in his BB/9 rates, including a mark of 5.89 in AA last season. It's hit or miss with his explosive stuff.â†µ
The Braves did well to get something useful in return for Diamond, who figures to be nothing more than a No. 4 ceiling. Bullock's ceiling is a quality late-innings reliever (not using the term "closer" with prospects), and he has a good shot of making the major leagues. Not bad for a fringe left-hander.