• Pitching Prospect Profile: Sean Gilmartin

    Yesterday, the Minnesota Twins acquired lefty Sean Gilmartin from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for catcher Ryan Doumit.

    Of course, just a couple days after we released the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, the Twins make a trade to acquire a 23-year-old prospect. Gilmartin is not included in the paperback or electronic books, but Jeremy, Cody and I thought it would be good to post a profile on him that you can print out and consider an addendum to your handbook.

    As with all of the Prospect Profiles in the Handbook, Jeremy wrote up the Amateur Days section. Cody Christie wrote the Stat Pack information. I wrote the Scouting Report and we worked on the Forecast for '14 together.

    Sean Gilmartin – LHP – (5/8/90)
    2013 Team(s): Gwinnett Braves (also Rome & GCL Braves for rehab)
    2013 Stats: 4-8, 5.06 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 105.0 IP, 33 BB, 81 K

    Amateur Days: Gilmartin graduated from Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, the same high school as Trevor Plouffe, before heading east to Florida State. Gilmartin became the Seminoles Friday-night starter just three weeks into his freshman season, a position he held for the rest of his college career. As a Seminole, Gilmartin went 33-13 (which looks even more impressive when you consider he was 9-8 his sophomore year) with a 3.57 ERA. He struck out 321 batters in 330 innings (8.75 K/9) and had a career WHIP of 1.21. Gilmartin helped lead the Seminoles to the College World Series in 2010, where he struggled in his match-up with then-freshman sensation Matt Purke. Gilmartin was drafted by Atlanta in the 2011 draft 28th overall, just two picks before the Twins selected Levi Michael and only five picks after the Nationals selected Alex Meyer. Gilmartin, who signed for $1,134,000, was lauded for his clean arm action and plus change up.

    Stat Pack: 2011-2012: Gilmartin moved up rapidly in his first full season in the Braves organization, his college experience likely helping push him from Double-A to Triple-A. Over 157.0 innings, he posted a 3.84 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Lefties struggled to make consistent contact against Gilmartin, hitting .185/.217/.289 with 48 strikeouts. Between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Gilmartin had a strong AFL performance (29.0 IP with 26 SO and a 1.21 WHIP).

    2013: After a couple rough outings at the beginning of June, something wasn’t right with Gilmartin. He went on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. By the end of the season, he had worked his way back to the Triple-A level. Left-handed hitters improved their numbers versus Gilmartin (.219/.252/.383), but some of this can be attributed to velocity lost due to his shoulder injury.

    Scouting Report: At 6-2 and 200 pounds, Gilmartin has four pitches that are at least average. His fastball sits between 89 and 92 and touches 93 at times. He has a very good change up that he throws in the low 80s. He has a terrific slider that is thrown in the low 80s as well. It is sharp and very difficult for left-handers. He also throws a slow curve ball in the low 70s which he tends to use against right-handers and it is more of a 12-6 pitch. Gilmartin has very good control and command of his pitches, at least when he is healthy. When he’s not healthy, like in 2013, he sat at 86 and 87 mph and was very hittable.

    Forecast for ‘14: After a frustrating 2013 season in AAA Gwinnett, next year the Twins could keep him in the International League with the Rochester Red Wings. Or, due to the starting pitching depth, they could take a step back and send him to New Britain in AA to start the season. He could be a leading candidate to be added to the 40 man roster following the season.

    As I've stated on Twitter, I think Gilmartin would rank somewhere between 19 and 23 in my Top Twins Prospect rankings. Hopefully he uses the offseason to get healthy and strong and get back to what he showed in 2012. If that's the case, this is another solid arm for the future.
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
      As a Braves fan and writer, I've seen a lot of Gilmartin, and last year it wasn't just the velocity. He lost feel and touch on all his pitches, and it sounds like this is a shoulder injury that could be one of things that never goes away fully, meaning days of 91-92 and sharp-breaking junk may simply be gone. I know he had slipped to 14 in the Braves system in our ranks, and that's a bottom tier system right now, so you're talking a prospect who's likely 350-450 overall in baseball. Not that Doumit was exactly lighting the world on fire, but Gilmartin was basically throwaway fodder for the Braves. It'd be nice for the Twins if he could recover some of what he once was, but everything I've seen, read, and heard says Gilmartin is likely never that guy again fully.
      I may be wrong, but I do not believe you can deal damaged goods. If they were open and honest and the Twins bought that's one thing, but MLB isn't a buyer's beware situation.

      Edit: Mayo just ranked him as the Twin's 13th rated prospect.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I may be wrong, but I do not believe you can deal damaged goods. If they were open and honest and the Twins bought that's one thing, but MLB isn't a buyer's beware situation.

      Edit: Mayo just ranked him as the Twin's 13th rated prospect.
      Damaged goods can be dealt all the time. That's part of buying low. The Twins under Ryan have been very good at scouting other team's sytem, so like you, I think this was a good move even if Gilmartin fails miserably.

      That said, I don't see the logic in Mayo's ranking, and that comes from a guy who places far more weight in success at higher levels. Gilmartin is a huge risk with that shoulder. I think the reward is potentially nice, but not one where I'd put him in my top 20. If he bounces back this season and is throwing in the low 90s again, great.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Given this system, 13 seems pretty high. And I'm a guy that values upper level success over potential.

      It all hinges on his velocity. If he can get back to 90, he could crack the Twins' top ten. If he's at 86-87 for eternity, he's in the 20s somewhere.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
      It'd be nice for the Twins if he could recover some of what he once was, but everything I've seen, read, and heard says Gilmartin is likely never that guy again fully.
      This feels a bit like Braves fans trying to wash their hands of it. While it's a possibility, I'm not seeing how a summer of tendinitis turns into a determination that he can never recover from it.
    1. halfchest's Avatar
      halfchest -
      I said this in a previous thread but dang, I don't see how anyone could not like this for the Twins. We're not likely to compete in 2014 unless a .500 record gets you in the wildcard (which it won't). I didn't expect to get much of anything and we get a guy who is a year removed from playing three levels and being effective. Is he a world changer? No. Could he be a solid mid to back of the rotation starter? Yes. I put him above most of the guys we trotted out there last year like Albers, Diamond, etc. He's a nice little wild card that could contribute.

      I also like his chance to convert to the pen if starting doesn't work out. Best bullpen guys are failed starters as we've all seen. Maybe he pulls a perk and adds a couple ticks to his fastball out of the pen. Suddenly that changeup becomes deadly.
    1. Lefty74's Avatar
      Lefty74 -
      Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
      As a Braves fan and writer, I've seen a lot of Gilmartin, and last year it wasn't just the velocity. He lost feel and touch on all his pitches, and it sounds like this is a shoulder injury that could be one of things that never goes away fully, meaning days of 91-92 and sharp-breaking junk may simply be gone. I know he had slipped to 14 in the Braves system in our ranks, and that's a bottom tier system right now, so you're talking a prospect who's likely 350-450 overall in baseball. Not that Doumit was exactly lighting the world on fire, but Gilmartin was basically throwaway fodder for the Braves. It'd be nice for the Twins if he could recover some of what he once was, but everything I've seen, read, and heard says Gilmartin is likely never that guy again fully.
      Thanks for this info. I watched a video of him throwing and was wondering why he was considered a "soft tossing lefty". Not sure when the video was shot, but he was consistently 91-92 with his fastball. Off speed looked sharp as well. I don't think the Braves would let someone like that go--your comments seem to provide the answer.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      ]It all hinges on his velocity. If he can get back to 90, he could crack the Twins' top ten. If he's at 86-87 for eternity, he's in the 20s somewhere.
      Yeah, I don't see any reasonable basis for that ranking. The guy has to show he can throw again. Shoulder injuries are tricky and can be devastating. If he had come back and got some of that velocity back late last year, that would make some sense.

      But a mid 80's velocity fastball with poor control is the last we saw of him. That should matter a lot. All that said, what makes this a smart move is that if the shoulder injury is fully healed, we've got a solid arm that we acquired at only the price of an aging, redundant player. We can all hope for that outcome, but right now he's still damaged goods.
    1. biggentleben's Avatar
      biggentleben -
      Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
      This feels a bit like Braves fans trying to wash their hands of it. While it's a possibility, I'm not seeing how a summer of tendinitis turns into a determination that he can never recover from it.
      Except that no one I've heard that from has any paid association with the Braves. Gilmartin came off as a Minor-lite when he was drafted, but watching him last year was just simply different. He completely lost the feel for creating the break on his pitches that once gave him elite movement and secondary stuff. That may never return.
    1. biggentleben's Avatar
      biggentleben -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lefty74 View Post
      Thanks for this info. I watched a video of him throwing and was wondering why he was considered a "soft tossing lefty". Not sure when the video was shot, but he was consistently 91-92 with his fastball. Off speed looked sharp as well. I don't think the Braves would let someone like that go--your comments seem to provide the answer.
      From a non-Braves standpoint, that'd be the thing that'd raise the biggest red flag for me. Wren simply refuses to move a solid pitcher unless he's overwhelmed with return (like getting Justin Upton), or he believes a guy's actual value is much lower than his perceived value in the industry (like Arodys Vizcaino). Sometimes that guy can re-establish value, but often those guys turn into little or nothing if the Braves are willing to move him.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I may be wrong, but I do not believe you can deal damaged goods. If they were open and honest and the Twins bought that's one thing, but MLB isn't a buyer's beware situation.

      Edit: Mayo just ranked him as the Twin's 13th rated prospect.
      That lofty ranking is because Mayo is the very last stubborn holdout amongst those analysts who previously had given Gilmartin his lofty rankings within the Braves system (He kept Gilmartin as the #4 Braves prospect when everyone else bailed). For the rest of the prospect analysts, Gilmartin's ship has already sailed.

      I hope Mayo turns out to be the maritime hero and proven right, but at this point, there are a lot more questions than answers on Gilmartin's return to even sea level form.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      Great move! With Kris Johnson and now Gilmartin, it looks like they're rethinking the pecking order and roles of our lefties.
      Yep. Some of our lefties will soon have no role
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Maybe it's just me, but I don't put a lot of stock into scouting reports about defense. I don't think most scouts see players enough to make a really accurate assessment. I could be wrong about this, but it seems a lot of players come with a degree of hype that is rarely deserved.

      It makes sense too, if you are watching a pitchers mechanics, seeing them 2 or 3 times gives you dozens to hundreds of data points. Seeing a hitter for 2-3 games gives you dozens of data points about their swing mechanics. But how many data points do you get on how a guy moves to his left at SS. Or how he reads lines drives in the RF gap?

      Delmon Young and many, many others have shown us that guys can come with a lot of undue hype just because hype is the way scouts and websites sell themselves. I'm more convinced by what I see from them than what I hear about them. And what I saw from Arcia was not good.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Given this system, 13 seems pretty high. And I'm a guy that values upper level success over potential.

      It all hinges on his velocity. If he can get back to 90, he could crack the Twins' top ten. If he's at 86-87 for eternity, he's in the 20s somewhere.
      If his velocity stays at 86-87 he's barely a top 50 prospect.

      The problem with everyone's optimism is that in his 'good' season he still only struck out 6.5 batters/inning in AA.
    1. OldTwinky's Avatar
      OldTwinky -
      To me this is a gamble. I don't think Gilmartin is gonna make it but why not take a shot at a left hander with this kind of stuff when healthy.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      If his velocity stays at 86-87 he's barely a top 50 prospect.

      The problem with everyone's optimism is that in his 'good' season he still only struck out 6.5 batters/inning in AA.
      By the time you hit "prospect" #25 in any organization, they're barely prospects at all. At that point, why do you even care?

      Call him prospect #28 because he was a first round pick. Call him prospect #43 because he can't throw over 86mph. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter one bit. The guy has about a 1% chance of ever playing more than a couple of games in MLB.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      By the time you hit "prospect" #25 in any organization, they're barely prospects at all. At that point, why do you even care?

      Call him prospect #28 because he was a first round pick. Call him prospect #43 because he can't throw over 86mph. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter one bit. The guy has about a 1% chance of ever playing more than a couple of games in MLB.
      Agree to disagree???
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Given this system, 13 seems pretty high. And I'm a guy that values upper level success over potential.

      It all hinges on his velocity. If he can get back to 90, he could crack the Twins' top ten. If he's at 86-87 for eternity, he's in the 20s somewhere.
      He's a richer version of Matt Thomshaw. Great location with low 90s fastball. Thomshaw has several pitches and knows how to locate. Although we may be getting away from the "Pitch to contact" philosophy - It aint all bad. Some of those guys in your bullpen make for a nice change of pace in situational cases. Thomshaw is my sleeper in the Twins system this year. Nothing fancy - just results.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I may be wrong, but I do not believe you can deal damaged goods. If they were open and honest and the Twins bought that's one thing, but MLB isn't a buyer's beware situation.

      Edit: Mayo just ranked him as the Twin's 13th rated prospect.
      Didnt Vance Worley finish the 2012 season on the DL and then need to have bone chips removed during the off season?
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      By the time you hit "prospect" #25 in any organization, they're barely prospects at all. At that point, why do you even care?

      Call him prospect #28 because he was a first round pick. Call him prospect #43 because he can't throw over 86mph. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter one bit. The guy has about a 1% chance of ever playing more than a couple of games in MLB.
      When I think of a top 25 prospect in a strong and deep org I typically think of someone that is interesting in some way - tonkin/Goodrum/Jorge/ZJones. Gilmartin throwing 86-87 is completely uninteresting. If it helps maybe I should say he's not a prospect at that point.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      When I think of a top 25 prospect in a strong and deep org I typically think of someone that is interesting in some way - tonkin/Goodrum/Jorge/ZJones. Gilmartin throwing 86-87 is completely uninteresting. If it helps maybe I should say he's not a prospect at that point.
      Eh, I think he's still a prospect. The chances of him ever being a long-term roster solution drop to virtually zero but given that he's left-handed and had a history of being a control guy, he's still in the mix.

      It doesn't take much for a lefty to continue being a prospect because they're so in demand on a typical MLB roster. If Gilmartin was a righty, I'd agree with you. He'd be a non-prospect at 86mph.
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