They can’t throw 90 mph, but software developers help Baltimore Orioles’ achieve on-field success by Ian Thomsen May 3, 2023 Share Mastodon Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Justin Diament helps deliver information to coaches, athletic trainers and others within the organization. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University Justin Diament walked out from a tunnel onto the lush outfield grass of Camden Yards. It is one of the most beautiful parks in Major League Baseball. It’s also the site of his co-op with the Baltimore Orioles. “It was on my bucket list to visit,” says Diament, a Northeastern third-year student in computer science, who made his initial visit to the field while the Orioles were in Florida for spring training. “That was definitely surreal to be on the field even for just a couple of minutes while it was empty.” Diament is a software developer for the Orioles’ baseball systems department. The code he generates helps deliver information to coaches, athletic trainers and others within the organization—to be used in tracking international prospects, for example. Justin Diament, who studies computer science, works on co-op with the Baltimore Orioles. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University Justin Diament, who studies computer science, works on co-op with the Baltimore Orioles. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University Diament broadcasts baseball and basketball games and serves as sports director for Northeastern radio station WRBB. Photos by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University “Going back many years, a scout submits a paper scouting report and that goes into a file,” Diament says. “It’s a lot easier to have it all in a big database that can easily be accessed and organized into players we like, players we don’t, how much do the scouts agree about the potential signing bonus for this player—whatever it might be.” The software is constantly being updated and improved to fit the evolving needs of the baseball analytics and operations staff of the Orioles, whose young team is contending for its first postseason since 2016. A wide variety of changes to MLB games this year—including new rules designed to create more stolen bases—must be accounted for, notes Diament. “Let’s say they have a metric for whether a guy should steal a base,” Diament says. “It’s going to change a little bit. You certainly wouldn’t want to be presenting the coaching staff with the wrong stats on whether they should call for more steals or not.” Diament grew up as a fan of the New York Mets while watching baseball with his father. At Northeastern he joined the campus radio station WRBB, broadcasting play-by-play of baseball and basketball games on his way to becoming the station’s sports director. He also made time to upgrade and manage the WRBB sports website. “He has an unmitigated love for the histories of the teams he follows, and for the tiny details that make those teams tick,” says Milton Posner, a former WRBB sports director who broadcast games alongside Diament. “Whether as a broadcaster, writer or analyst, he’s never been afraid to put in the hours to understand these games on a deeper level. Because he does these things, he has this ability to make himself a vital part of the community around a team.” Diament designed a version of Wordle based on Northeastern sports and created Northeastern Sports Rabbit Hole, a Twitter feed that explores the university’s sports history. He’s constantly reminded of where he’s working. Starting next week, Diament will begin collaborating with his baseball systems colleagues on the top floor of the iconic century-old B&O Warehouse overlooking Camden Yards’ right field. “You certainly wouldn’t be able to look through the code base for more than a minute and not know I’m working with baseball stuff,” Diament says. “It’s a dream come true. I never really imagined that I’d ever be able to get any sort of role within a pro sports franchise. It’s super cool and definitely something that I’ll have fond memories of for a long time, that I was able to contribute some small parts to a Major League Baseball team.” Ian Thomsen is a Northeastern Global News reporter. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanatNU.