Not to be confused with that Sean Sullivan, this Sean Sullivan is a left-hander out of Wake Forest. The Southpaw wrapped up a highly productive season for his college team and is a potential third-round pick, based on current rankings.
Throughout 56.1 innings, Sullivan owned a 2.56 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 5.69 K:BB ratio. Sullivan’s peripherals were strong, as he struck out nearly 40% of the batters he faced (39.9% K-rate) with a walk rate of just 7%. Home runs and hit-by-pitches ended up being a weak spot in his stat line, however. A 1.10 HR/9 isn’t great, but still playable nonetheless, but he hit 11 batters. Granted, hit by pitches can greatly fluctuate, so it may have been a fluke.
Sullivan isn’t a hard-throwing pitcher, averaging out around 88-92 MPH while topping out at 95. However, despite his fastball lacking velocity, there are many traits in his game that make it play to a plus level. The first thing is his low release point. Because of his large 6-foot-4 frame, and wide angle, the pitch has outstanding carry, according to MLB Pipeline. He has a five-foot release height, per Baseball America.
His other two offerings are a slider and a change-up. Of the two secondaries, his changeup is the better offering. His primary off-speed pitch sits in the low-80s with fading action. His slider comes in the upper-70s with more sweeping action. Both pitches could be two more offerings that come out to an average level when he’s done developing.
Sullivan is younger than the other pitchers talked about today. He’s only 20 and won’t turn 21 until July 22nd. Although he is younger, he’s definitely a player the Pirates should at least keep on the radar. A good left-hander with some deception and control would be welcomed in any system.