Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/14/14

Sean Gilmartin, the Atlanta Braves 2011 first round pick embarrassed South Atlantic League opponents in a brief, but impressive stint where he posted a staggering K/BB ratio of 15/1 over five starts. Of course as an uber-polished lefty out of a Florida State, a major ACC program, he was expected to succeed against younger opponents. However, Gilmartin’s production proved dominant enough to earn a spot in the Arizona Fall League and pitched well enough for me to pencil him into the 2012 Mississippi staff (double-A) accelerating his timetable

After a first look at Gilmartin against Rockies enigmatic prospect Tyler Matzek, my initial reaction was, “that’s it”? Yes, he struck out four in two and two-thirds allowing no earned runs, but his fastball sat 87-89 MPH, touching 91, with soft off-speed pitches. The movement was present to induce soft contact at the upper levels, but very little swing-and-miss potential. It was an underwhelming debut which left me wanting for more.

A couple of weeks later, Gilmartin threw again versus Kannapolis, a White Sox farm team and scouted as a completely different pitcher. The lefty was touched for a home run early, but settled in striking out nine in five and two-thirds showing considerably better stuff and command.

In taking the best and worst from both starts, Gilmartin was able to pitch full innings at 89-91 MPH with command and late tail to the arm side. When his velocity dipped to 87-89 MPH, the pitch was not nearly as effective. In both starts, Gilmartin started slow and gained velocity after rocky first innings. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but worth noting nonetheless.

As a pitcher and catcher growing up, I was exposed to two lines of thinking from coaches. The first, “throw as hard as you can for as long as you can”, terrifies me and my partially torn ulnar ligament from years of misuse. The other more arm friendly advice, “just play catch with the mitt”, must have been said with Gilmartin in mind as his arm action is easy and effortless. This allows him to maximize his fastball movement, alleviates stress on his arm and command pitches within the strike zone.

Gilmartin’s curveball was of the soft, big breaking variety. At 70-71 MPH, the pitch featured significant 12/6 action. At its best, a touch of late bite deep in the zone was present, but it’s unlikely to induce many whiffs at the Major League level. In game action, he utilized both off-speed pitches much more than I would have expected and wonder just how honest he will be able to keep more advanced hitters with his fastball.

At 75-79 MPH, Gilmartin’s changeup was extremely impressive the second time around. Against Kannapolis, the pitch featured excellent arm side fade and drop. Additionally, his arm action was exceptional and identical to his fastball leaving it an offering which flashed plus. However, against Asheville, I noticed a slowing of his arm action and his feel for the pitch wasn’t nearly as strong. These things happen, but it was a tad surprising considering his reputation as a command/control specialist from the college ranks.

For me personally, the Gilmartin versus Mike Minor prospect chatter makes sense on the surface – First round picks, major college programs, left-handed, etc. Having seen both early in their Braves careers, first hand looks leave me thinking the comps are a bit lazy and undersell the ability of Mike Minor.

Sean Gilmartin is a solid pitching prospect, but Minor projected better at the time due to a stronger, more durable build and a slider he kept in his back pocket. Gilmartin, the former cross country runner has a leaner build and doesn’t really project for additional size, nor does he possess that swing-and-miss offering which points to more of a back end starter ceiling.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is here to compete for a job

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

Philly store offering Eagles 'jersey insurance'


Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Pacquiao had injured shoulder, considered postponing fight

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

WATCH: Tony Allen walks through children performing, gets booed

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.