The New York Mets may not have done a lot during the MLB Winter Meetings, but they did make a couple of solid additions just before the end. In addition to the signing of John Mayberry Jr., the Mets added left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin during the Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft isn’t always a reliable place to find players who can contribute at the big league level, but Gilmartin has a real chance to help the Mets in 2015.
Gilmartin is a former first-round draft pick and an All-American in college, so he’s always had the potential to reach the majors. He’s also a pitcher who’s known for his control, which is something the Mets covet. While he’s been a starter throughout his minor league career, the Mets will give him a chance to make the roster as part of the bullpen, where they are in need of a second lefty to provide some support for Josh Edgin.
Lefties hit just .190 against Gilmartin during his time in Triple-A in 2014, indicating he’s capable of being the Mets’ second lefty specialist.
He also has a quality changeup that can help him be effective against right-handed batters as well. His history as a starter also gives him the ability to pitch multiple innings and help out the Mets as a long man, and perhaps even as a spot starter if necessary.
Considering all this, Gilmartin has a good chance of making the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. He’ll be competing with other lefties such as Dario Alvarez, Scott Rice, Jack Leathersich and any other lefty the Mets sign this offseason for a spot in the bullpen. At this point, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Gilmartin is the favorite of that group to win a spot.
Of course, he isn’t a slam dunk either. He’s spent parts of the last three seasons in Triple-A, albeit with two different organizations, and has yet to earn his way to the big leagues. The Minnesota Twins did not feel the need to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft despite acquiring him in a trade a year ago, indicating that they don’t believe he’ll make a meaningful impact in the majors.
Whether Gilmartin ends up playing for the Mets and contributing in 2015 remains to be seen, but the Mets were smart to take a chance on him in the Rule 5 Draft.