Sean Patrick Gilmartin
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 192 lb.
- School Florida State University
- High School Crespi Carmelite High School
- Debut April 10, 2015
Gilmartin was 3-0 with 10 saves as a high school junior at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, CA, in the suburbs of San Diego, CA. The San Diego Padres took him in the 31st round of the 2008 amateur draft as an outfielder, but he continued on to college.
Gilmartin showed why he was drafted as an outfielder, going 6 for 10 with two doubles as a freshman. He was primarily a pitcher, though, and a very good one - 12-3, 3.49. He was named a Freshman All-American, joining Taylor Jungmann, Trevor Bauer and Noe Ramirez as the starters picked by Baseball America (all but Ramirez would be first-rounders in two years). He made third-team All-American in picks by Collegiate Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Gilmartin was the second FSU freshman to be named All-Atlantic Coast Conference, following Jason Stidham. The other All-ACC pitchers were Alex White, Deck McGuire and Kyle Bellamy. Sean led the ACC in wins (tied for 5th in NCAA Division I, trailing Mike Leake, A.J. Morris, Louis Coleman and Stephen Strasburg) and was 8th in ERA.
As a sophomore, Gilmartin slumped to 9-8, 5.24. He still tied for third in the ACC in wins and was 4th with 108 strikeouts. He remained sharp offensively, at .383. He lost to Matt Purke in the 2010 College World Series opener, then played DH in the next two games. In the 2010 World University Championship, Gilmartin allowed two hits, two walks and one run in 2/3 of an inning as the worst US hurler.
Gilmartin was back in form as a junior at FSU (12-2, 2.09, .209 opponent average, 130 K, 21 BB in 120 1/3 IP), though his batting was off (4 for 22). He was named as an All-American by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America; Bauer and Jungmann were the only other hurlers on both lists. He was not picked to the ABCA first team; they chose Matt Barnes, Sonny Gray, Danny Hultzen and Ross Stripling in addition to Jungmann and Bauer.
The Atlanta Braves took the lefty with the 28th pick of the 2011 amateur draft. He was the first FSU first-rounder since Buster Posey in 2008. The two pitchers taken in the three spots preceding him were also from California - Joe Ross and Robert Stephenson. He was signed by scout Hugh Buchanan for the Braves on July 15th for a reported signing bonus of $1.1 million. Braves scouting director Tony DeMacio was quoted as saying that the Braves expected their new signee to move quickly through their system.
Gilmartin made his pro debut with the GCL Braves on August 6th and immediately moved on to the Rome Braves, for whome he was 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 5 starts. He began 2012 with the Mississippi Braves but made it to the AAA Gwinnett Braves before the end of the year. Between the two teams, he was 6-10, 3.84 in 27 starts, striking out 111 in 157 innings. He then had a serious set-back in 2013, missing time to an injury and having to make a couple of rehabilitation stops in the low minors. With Gwinnett, he made 17 stars but with poor results: 3-8, 5.74 in 91 innings. As a result, he was not promoted to the Show that year, then on December 18th was traded to the Minnesota Twins in return for veteran catcher Ryan Doumit.
He is married to Kayleigh McEnany, who became White House Press Secretary in May 2020. A cousin, Chad Gilmartin, was hired by the White House as principal assistant press secretary shortly afterwards, in a move that journalists highlighted as yet another instance of nepotism in the President's entourage.