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Gilmartin fills need for lefty-pitching depth

Gilmartin fills need for lefty-pitching depth

Gilmartin fills need for lefty-pitching depth play video for Gilmartin fills need for lefty-pitching depth
MIAMI -- Braves director of scouting Tony DeMacio entered this year's First-Year Player Draft intent on enhancing the organization's left-handed-pitching depth. With the selection of Sean Gilmartin, he believes the Braves are heading in the right direction.

Gilmartin was chosen by the Braves with the 28th overall selection of the Draft on Monday night. The 21-year-old left-hander is still in the midst of his impressive and successful collegiate career at Florida State University.

"He has more of a fastball than people think he does, and he has that pitchability that [Tom Glavine] ended up with as a Major League player," DeMacio said. "We think he's advanced pitchability wise, which is really hard to find. The fact that he wins, that's what we're looking for."

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Gilmartin and his Florida State teammates won their NCAA Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., on Monday afternoon. The Braves announced the 6-foot-2, 192-pound left-handed pitcher will not be available to speak to the media until Tuesday afternoon.

"When they said, 'Sean,' I woke up the neighborhood," legendary Florida State head coach Mike Martin said via a release issued by the school on Monday night. "I'm just tickled to death.

"I'm just so excited. It's just awesome -- golly. Great for him and certainly for us. Heck, I can get up there [to Atlanta] and watch him pitch."

Serving as Florida State's ace for a second straight season, Gilmartin has gone 12-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 17 appearances (16 starts). Opponents have hit .208 against him, and he has recorded 122 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings.

"He's just got the professional approach that a guy like Nolan Ryan, as a 10- or 15-year veteran, had," Florida State pitching coach Jamey Shouppe told The Orlando Sentinel.

Gilmartin's strikeout total ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference to Danny Hultzen, a fellow left-handed pitcher who was taken by the Mariners with this year's second overall selection.

"He commands his fastball and he knows how to pitch," DeMacio said. "He's got great confidence in his stuff, and he trusts everything that he throws."

Gilmartin's stock rose after some Braves scouts took another look at him during last week's ACC tournament. But entering Monday's Draft, DeMacio was thinking his first selection might be a high-school pitcher.

Instead, Gilmartin became just the third collegiate player the Braves have taken with their first selection over the past 21 years. The other two were left-handed pitcher Mike Minor (Vanderbilt University, 2009) and Joey Devine (North Carolina State University, 2005).

"We thought that he was the next best pitcher or player for us, and that's why we took him," DeMacio said.

Gilmartin's next start will come next weekend during the NCAA Super Regional round. DeMacio said he will wait until Florida State's season concludes before beginning serious contract negotiations with the young left-hander.

Like Minor, Gilmartin experienced international competition while pitching for Team USA's Collegiate National Team. He went 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA in four appearances (one start) for Team USA.

"I think it's important when a college kid competes at the highest level and does well," DeMacio said. "I think it shows he knows what it takes to win. This young man seems to make the adjustments -- and knows how to win. All of those factors come into play when we put the board together."

A native of Moorpark, Calif., Gilmartin did not sign after the Padres selected him in the 31st round of the 2008 Draft.

This was the only selection the Braves had during Monday's phase of the Draft. Their second-round pick will be the 85th overall selection.

Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at noon ET on Tuesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 2 and 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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