2010 Analysis: Dillon Gee

I want to believe that Dillon Gee will continue to be as good as he was in five starts in September. I’d like to pencil him in to a 2011 rotation spot right now, and expect him to give the Mets 6 to 7 innings every five days, limiting opposing batters to a .212 batting average and only 2.18 earned runs per 9.

But something tells me he isn’t that good.

Which is a shame, because he’s incredibly likeable, with a great story. True grit, determination, and hard work pushed this non-prospect to the big leagues – an ideal side story turned sequel to The Legend of R.A. Dickey. I’m rooting for success by Dillon Gee in the same way I rooted for Jeff Francoeur – with high hopes, but realistic expectations.

Spending over 30 years watching the likes of Mike Vail, Roy Lee Jackson, Daniel Murphy, Kelvin Chapman, Anthony Young, Jason Jacome, Keith Miller, Brian Bannister … well, you learn to keep your guard up.

2011 Projection

I like Gee’s competitiveness and guile. I also love the fact he wears an American-made Akadema glove. I didn’t like his walk rate in his 5 MLB games, and I’m not convinced his pedestrian stuff is enough to retire big-league hitters consistently. But if he can keep his walks down at this level – something he did at lower levels – he could, at best, evolve into a Scott Baker or Nick Blackburn type of pitcher (for Mets fans, Bobby Jones is a good example), which would be a more than welcome addition to the Mets’ staff in 2011. I’ll go on a limb and say that there’s a good chance he pitches as well as Brian Bannister would have in Flushing, had he not been sent to Kansas City. The truth is, the Mets don’t have much choice but to hope that he can – a quick look at the farm system is showing no one else ready to make the leap, and the free-agent pile isn’t likely to render anything better than a journeyman rotation filler.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. CatchDog October 28, 2010 at 8:16 am
    The “G” Man. Dillon ain’t the villan. Gonna keep the rotation chillin cause he “Ks” ’em like he’s killin.

    Guess I’ve got change for 50 Cents…

    Gee’s innings pitched last season should allow him to throw 200 + next year without too much of the Verducci Effect. Dillon has a nice selection of pitches and at 24 next year, there’s still some ceiling left.

    I’d be very satisfied to see a 4.50 ERA and lots of innings from our #5 starter next season and I believe that’s what Gee will provide.

    Always the optimist, perhaps we see a rotation in the near future which includes Gee, Niese and Mejia, possibly drawing comparisons to a young Gooden, Darling and El Sid.

  2. Mike October 28, 2010 at 10:53 am
    Hard to not like Gee, easy to get overly excited about him. Yet it’s hard to like him if you look at some of the advanced statistics. He just doesn’t have “the peripherals” (as the sabermetricians say) or “the stuff” (as traditionalists say). Either way people agree: nice kid, wish him the best, hope he finds a role to stick with in the bigs, but no chance in heck I’d bet on him as a good MLB starter for many years.

    Keep striking guys out at a 9 K/9 rate like he did this year, and keep the ball in the park somehow, and we’ll talk. His walk rate has gone up too over the years. His high BABIP and HR/9 points to either bad luck or bad hittable stuff. Again, just would not bet on him long term.