2011 Analysis: Dillon Gee

At the beginning of the spring, not much was expected of Dillon Gee. Yet by the end of summer, it could be argued that Gee was a disappointment.

Before you take that the wrong way, I mean it as a compliment. Because when the Mets broke camp at the end of March, Dillon Gee was in the Buffalo Bisons’ rotation, and not part of the big league team’s plans. Yet by the All-Star break, Gee was not only in the Mets’ rotation, but he was one of the team’s top-performing pitchers, and on course to be a legitimate candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Gee began the year 7-0, and expanded it to 10-3 by the end of July. However, he went 3-6 the rest of the season, ending with a final record of 13-6 that looks great from a distant perspective, but was somewhat disappointing for those of us who were up close and watching Gee’s gradual regression. After getting to or through the seventh inning 7 times in the first four months and 20 starts of the season, he made it past the sixth only once in his final ten starts. Several explanations may apply; first and foremost, this was his first big-league season, and it’s likely that Gee simply didn’t have physical stamina to handle 30 starts at his peak potential. Another possibility is that Gee took hitters by surprise, and succeeded at least in part thanks to the benefit of mystery. In other words, Gee may have been helped by the fact batters were unfamiliar with him, and not sure what to expect. Rolling with that theory, it could be surmised that after opponents saw him a few times, and scouting reports were developed on him, Gee became more vulnerable and susceptible.

At the end of the day — and the season — Gee put together an impressive rookie year.

2012 Projection

Based on my evaluation, you might think I’m pessimistic about Gee for 2012. Actually, I have a good feeling about the young righthander; I like his bulldog attitude and his history as an overachiever, and believe those attributes alone will keep him in MLB. Will he be an ace one day? Doubtful, but he should be at least a back-end starter for a few years, and maybe push into a middle-of-the-rotation guy at some point. His stuff and makeup remind me a bit of former Met Bobby Jones, who had a few nice seasons in Flushing. If Gee can find consistent command of a second pitch — be it his change-up or overhand curve — and have on-off command of a third, he should enjoy a successful 2012 season.

2010 Evaluation of Dillon Gee


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. Tommy2cat November 2, 2011 at 7:10 am
    Joe – Very fair and accurate analysis of Gee’s 2011 performance. Your analogy to Bobby Jones is appropo.

    Gee’s 2012 success will be predicated more upon his development than his opponents’ unfamiliarity with him. I hope that he mixes his curveball in just a little more so that hitters can’t sit on his change up as they did in the 2nd half. It’s a really good pitch.

    I thought that he got tired, both physically and mentally. You could see it – he’s not easily frustrated, but his demeanor betrayed him on a couple of occasions.

    All in all, a solid first year. We hope for similar final results for this year, but also hope the road is a little more consistent.

  2. MikeT November 2, 2011 at 8:52 am
    Bobby Jones pitched possibly the best game in the history of the Mets franchise. I’ll take that from Gee. If he is the type to provide good innings and the occasional gem, I’m down.
  3. Metstheory22 November 2, 2011 at 9:36 am
    I thought Gee changed his landing spot. I went on vacation and when I came back he looked like he was landing towards first base instead of towards home. He was not the same once he did that.
  4. Joe November 3, 2011 at 10:28 am
    Bobby Jones had a pretty good career with the Mets. If Gee provides a similar consistency year in year out, with a nice attitude (on that front, reminds me a bit of Rick Reed), I’ll take it. He seems to have that blue collar approach Mets fans expect from the team.
  5. argonbunnies November 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm
    Good call, MT22! I didn’t notice the landing, but something looked different. If it’s that simple, that reflects badly on Warthen.

    I’ve ignored the familiarity issue. Just based on the pitches he was throwing, it looked to me like May Gee could beat the Yankees, and August Gee couldn’t beat the Astros. His command regressed, as did his pitch selection.

    Is that latter Thole’s fault? I don’t know. All I know is that Gee stopped throwing his fastball to all 4 quadrants of the plate, especially up and in to righties. Gee was never Maddux, but he tended to be close enough to the target that he really could succeed by moving the ball around and keeping hitters off balance.

    I saw a lot more repeat pitches after the All-Star break, in both pitch type and location. Gee is never going to succeed by going “change-up low and away; fastball low and away; change-up low and away; fastball low and away”.

    I’d say Gee’s prime asset is the movement on his change-up. As long as he doesn’t hang it, it seems effective on either side of the plate, to lefties and righties. Unlike your classic soft-tossing command guy, I think Gee has the potential to strike some guys out. He should watch some tape of Pedro in early 2006.

    My biggest worry with Gee is the walks. He needs to cut them down, and I think he will, but what happens then? Does he start giving up more extra-base hits?

    One of the more intriguing players on the Mets, with one of the biggest gaps between ceiling and floor.