The Braves took Sean Gilmartin from Florida State with their first overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Some people will criticize the pick because Gilmartin doesn’t have the high upside of typical first round picks but I like the selection because he is pretty much a lock to be a solid MLB starter one day.
Sean Gilmartin is a polished pitcher with great control, and average stuff. Average stuff might not be what you are hoping for with the first pick of the draft but Gilmartin should still impress with his pitches. Both Baseball America, and Keith Law compared Gilmartin to Mike Minor which is a pretty good comp.
Gilmartin throws a fastball, changeup, and slider. His fastball sits around 88-90, and his changeup is usually in the mid to upper 70’s. The change is easily Gilmartin’s best pitch and he is a smart pitcher who uses it well. The slider has come a long way since college and could be a solid third offering with some more work.
Here is Baseball America’s report:
Gilmartin isn’t flashy, but his total package should take him off the board in the first 50 picks as one of the draft’s safest selections. A two-way talent out of a California high school, he attended a camp at Florida State and wound up being one of the Seminoles’ rare cross-country recruits. He has pitched on Fridays for three seasons and helped lead Florida State to the College World Series last season, though he struggled putting hitters away in the second half of the season and last summer with USA Baseball’s college national team. Gilmartin has improved significantly in the last year and become a scouts’ darling with his combination of good size (6-foot-2, 192 pounds), clean arm action and solid athleticism. He has pushed his fastball into the average velocity range at 88-91 mph, his changeup remains a plus pitch and his slider has improved to average. Gilmartin knows how to use his stuff, particularly his changeup, how to set up hitters and how to keep them off-balance. His 10-1, 1.35 season includes four double-digit strikeout efforts. Scouts compare Gilmartin favorably to Vanderbilt southpaw Mike Minor, who went seventh overall to the Braves in 2009 and reached the majors a season later.
Baseball America seems to like Gilmartin more than Keith Law, but that should come as no surprise. Here is Keith’s diagnosis”:
Gilmartin’s a college performer with adequate stuff but who may need to find another gear to be more than a fourth or fifth starter in the big leagues.
He’ll pitch with a fringe-average fastball, mostly 88-89 but touching a 91, and has a big, slow curveball that might work against lefties but wouldn’t be a weapon against better right-handed batters. His best pitch is his changeup, 76-78 mph with good arm speed and some late fading action, although he uses it a lot and I’d like to see him pitch more off his fastball. He’s a good athlete who can even swing the bat a little bit. He stays over the rubber well and pronates his arm very early after showing the ball to the center fielder.
This is what I thought Mike Minor was in college — a command lefty with a good changeup but an average fastball and no plus breaking ball. Minor added some muscle after signing and upped his velocity, at least temporarily, and I suppose Gilmartin could do the same.
When the pick was made, Gondeee noted that the Braves might have drafted Gilmartin to be able to trade some of the other top pitchers in the system. This is because Gilmartin should be able to move through the system fairly quickly. We could see him in the bigs at some point this year if there are some injuries but his ETA is probably closer to mid 2013.
There isn’t a lot more Gilmartin needs to work on except fine tuning the slider and he should be a solid back end starter/innings eater for a long time in the bigs.
In A Perfect World- Gilmartin flies through the minors in 2012 and turns his slider into more than just a solid third offering. He pulls a Mike Minor and ups the fastball velocity to get a few more strikeouts and makes a name for himself as a great middle of the rotation pitcher.
According To The Mayans- Gilmartin steadily works his way through the minors but doesn’t improve much more than he is right now. He joins the big league rotation in 2014 and proves to be an average back end pitcher. He doesn’t get a huge amount of strikeouts but he is good enough to eat up innings throughout the year.