- Full name Sean Patrick Gallagher
- Born 12/30/1985 in Boston, MA
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Saint Thomas Aquinas
- Debut 06/09/2007
- Drafted in the 12th round (366th overall) by the Chicago Cubs in 2004.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Most clubs considered Gallagher unsignable in the 2004 draft, but the Cubs nabbed him with a 12th-round pick and a $60,000 bonus. He has been a bargain, reaching double figures in wins in each of his three full seasons and making his major league debut in June at age 21. Gallagher has added fastball velocity since signing, reaching 90-94 mph last season, and he can spot it wherever he wants. It has surpassed his 11-to-5 curveball as his best pitch. His changeup is an effective third pitch and he mixes his offerings well. Gallagher can get into trouble with the softer version of his curveball, which arrives at 69-74 mph. Typical of most rookies, he nibbled too much in his first taste of the majors. He'll have to watch the weight, though dropping 10 pounds in the Arizona Fall League is a good sign. Gallagher will compete for a spot as a No. 5 starter or long reliever. Spending most of 2008 at Triple-A wouldn't be a setback, however. He has the makings of a No. 3 starter along the lines of Jon Lieber.
Gallagher was considered a tough sign if he didn't go in the first three rounds of the 2004 draft, but area scout Rolando Pino stayed on him and got a deal done in the 12th round. He won 14 games in low Class A as a teenager in 2005, then motored through two levels last year as his stuff improved. The biggest key to pitching is fastball command, and Gallagher can put his heater where he wants in the strike zone. It also surged from 88-90 mph in 2005 to 90-94 last year while retaining its boring life. His curveball remains his best pitch, and he has improved his changeup. He's built for durability and has the mindset that he should win every time he takes the mound. When he got to Double-A, Gallagher overthrew and lost the edge off his control and command. He sometimes leaves his pitches up when he doesn't finish his delivery. His changeup still needs fine-tuning. He'll have to watch the weight on his stocky frame, but he's athletic for his size and pays attention to his conditioning. Gallagher has developed faster than anticipated and has a ceiling of a No. 3 starter. He'll begin 2007 with a few starts in Double-A, but he'll move up to Triple-A by midseason and could make his big league debut in September.
Gallagher has far exceeded expectations since signing as a 12th-round pick in 2004, but scouts wonder if he's already near his ceiling. The Cubs planned on sending him to extended spring training before shipping him out to short-season Boise last year, but injuries created an opening for Gallagher in the Peoria rotation. He seized the opportunity by not allowing an earned run in his first six starts (which included a combined no-hitter), en route to tying for the Midwest League lead in victories and winning Chicago's minor league pitcher of the year award. However, he leveled off after his hot start and may not have a plus pitch. Gallagher's best offering is his curveball, which managers rated the best in the MWL. But while some see his curve as an above-average pitch, others say it's loopy and slurvy and stands out mainly because he locates it well. His 88-90 mph fastball and changeup are fringe average, and he's not projectable at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds. Gallagher's command, savvy and presence are all advanced for his age, and he figures to develop into a back-of-the-rotation starter. He'll open 2006 in high Class A, where he made a cameo last September, and could jump to Double-A quickly if he has another torrid streak to open the season.
Minor League Top Prospects
Poised and confident on the mound, Gallagher has three quality pitches with a good idea of how to attack hitters. He finished his second full pro season without experiencing what it feels like to lose at the Double-A level. Thanks to offseason upper-body work and improved mechanics, Gallagher jumped his fastball velocity from 88-90 mph a year ago to 90-93. He varies the look on his curveball, throwing a bigger breaker at times, then zipping a harder version when he's ahead in the count. His changeup has the makings of a plus pitch, and he'll show a slider to keep hitters off balance. "He's a good arm, a real battler," West Tenn manager Pat Listach said. "He'll show you all kinds of breaking stuff, and that curveball has excellent rotation and depth to it."
An offseason in the weight room paid off for Gallagher, who showed up with extra velocity this season. His 90-92 mph heater, paired with above-average fastball command, has helped raise his stock as a prospect. Though Gallagher didn't allow an earned run in his first six starts in 2005, when he led the low Class A Midwest League with 14 wins, there were worries that his stuff was too fringy. But with the boost to his fastball, he became a more complete pitcher. His curveball is still his best pitch--it's a sharp, late breaker with good depth--and he shows more confidence in his improved changeup. If there's still a concern with Gallagher, it's that what you see is what you get. There's not much projection to his 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame, but that was the case a year ago as well. He has displayed a knack for getting inside the head of hitters and enough command to work all four corners of the plate.
Gallagher was the hottest MWL pitcher at the start of the season, going 5-1, 0.75 in the first two months. He leveled off and went 6-3, 4.66 in the final two months, and observers weren't quite sure what to make of him. Everyone agreed that he had better command, savvy and mound presence than most pitchers his age, though they differed on the quality of his stuff. Gallagher had the league's best curveball. While some thought it was an above-average pitch, others saw it as loopy and slurvy and thought it stood out only because he could locate it so well. His 88-90 mph fastball and his changeup are fringe-average pitches and may not get much better because he doesn't have a very projectable frame at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Breaking Pitch in the Midwest League in 2005