The Atlanta Braves have long been known for their great minor league system, and this year is no different.
They have one of the very best group of minor league pitchers in any system, though there is something left to desire from an offensive stand point.
In the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, the Atlanta Braves selected left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin from Florida State University.
The ace for the Seminoles has an average fastball that sits in the upper-80s that can touch as high as 91. He possesses a curveball that is strong against lefties, but is average against righties. He has a plus change-up that is easily his best pitch. He's also a good athlete that may have a little upside.
Sounds a lot like Mike Minor to me: a left-handed pitcher that put up good numbers in college with an average fastball. Minor added some bulk and threw some in the mid-90s last year, so while it is unlikely, there is a chance that Gilmartin adds a few ticks to his fastball and then becomes a steal at this pick.
Gilmartin is a guy that could help out fairly soon compared to some of the other draft picks. He has good control, which is one of the reasons he was so effective at the college level.
At best, it looks right now that Gilmartin is a back of the rotation type pitcher, though he could be much more than that. Mark Buehrle has a good career with a lot of command and not much stuff.
Gilmartin was 12-1 this year at Florida State with an ERA of 1.83.
Grade for the pick: B+, I would have liked to see some offense, but the Braves are known for their pitching and making great strides with those that they draft. Have to trust the organization here.