SEC Academic Honor Roll selection also found time to win three of his final four starts in 2022. The California product was an integral part of Ole Miss’ first ever national championship despite not showcasing much down the stretch. The former Rebel had his share of struggles in 2022, but major league teams had a large share of inventory.
Diamond didn’t stand out in 2022, but his work over a three-year period caught the eye of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While he could never match the consistency of former Ole Miss pitcher and
Cleveland Indians 2021 second-round pick Doug Nikhazy, Diamond brings a lot of potential to the table for the next level.
Nikhazy plays the game with a unique combination of emotion and savvy. With a four-pitch repertoire that includes a 94 mile-per-hour fastball, the Ole Miss left-hander was one of the SEC’s leaders in strikeouts in 2021. The junior from West Orange High School (Fla.) posted eight games with double-digit Ks this past season,
including an eye-opening 16 versus Florida State in the Oxford regional nearly a month ago.
Over the course of his All-American campaign, Nikhazy ranked in the top five in the SEC in a number of categories, including strikeouts and ERA. His mix of pitches has been well-documented,
as has his ability to bounce back after giving up home runs.
Nikhazy took his game to the next level in 2021, becoming a unanimous All-American in the process.
In terms of his draft stock, look for the left-hander to come off the board somewhere in the
draft’s first 60 picks. In the last three drafts (2018-20), the Rebels have had 18 players selected, including five in the first four rounds. We spotlighted former Ole Miss shortstop and Houston Astros 2019 second round pick Grae Kessinger just a few years back.