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Daily Archives: June 28, 2011

Dillon Gee, Mets: The Toast of New York

 Tuesday June 28, 2011

 

 

MLB reports:   Our last feature was on Danny Espinosa, the Nationals rookie second baseman who is taking Washington by storm.  For all the talk of Espinosa’s strong play, many readers wrote in to suggest that Dillon Gee should be at the top of the National League Rookie of the Year talk.  For many MLB fans, the first question will be:  Who the heck is Dillon Gee?

Dillon Kyle Gee was born and raised in Texas.  The 25-year old right-handed pitcher went to high school and university in Texas.  The New York Mets drafted the 6’1″ pitcher in the 21st round of the 2007 draft.  That is where the story should begin and end.  Most players chosen beyond the 2nd round have a very small chance of ever making it to AAA, let alone the majors.  This is the not the case though for Dillon Gee, who as a 21st round selection has beaten the odds to make it to the show.

Before joining the Mets full-time this year, here is a snapshot look at Dillon Gee’s career numbers in the minors:

Year Tm Lev W L ERA IP H BB SO WHIP
2007 Brooklyn A- 3 1 2.47 62.0 57 9 56 1.065
2008 2 Teams A+-AA 10 6 2.92 154.1 135 24 114 1.030
2008 St. Lucie A+ 8 6 3.25 127.1 117 19 94 1.068
2008 Binghamton AA 2 0 1.33 27.0 18 5 20 0.852
2009 Buffalo AAA 1 3 4.10 48.1 47 16 42 1.303
2010 Buffalo AAA 13 8 4.96 161.1 174 41 165 1.333
2011 Buffalo AAA 1 1 4.63 11.2 7 5 8 1.029
5 Seasons   28 19 3.78 437.2 420 95 385 1.177
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 15 12 4.76 221.1 228 62 215 1.310
AA (1 season) AA 2 0 1.33 27.0 18 5 20 0.852
A- (1 season) A- 3 1 2.47 62.0 57 9 56 1.065
A+ (1 season) A+ 8 6 3.25 127.1 117 19 94 1.068

 

Dillon Gee was good, but not great in his minor league career based on the above numbers.  While he was stellar in the lower minors, Gee was not exactly “lights out” in AAA.  In 221.1 innings pitched in Buffalo over parts of three seasons, Dillon Gee had a 4.76 ERA and 1.310 WHIP.  By failing to dominate in AAA, one would have realistically expected Gee to require more seasoning before coming to New York or end up running the risk of getting lit up in the majors.

 

As you can see from Gee’s Mets numbers, quite the opposite has occurred:

Year Tm W L ERA G GS IP H HR BB SO WHIP
2010 NYM 2 2 2.18 5 5 33.0 25 2 15 17 1.212
2011 NYM 8 1 3.32 15 12 76.0 60 5 30 51 1.184
2 Seasons 10 3 2.97 20 17 109.0 85 7 45 68 1.193
162 Game Avg. 18 6 2.97 37 31 200 156 13 83 125 1.193

 

Dillon Gee’s numbers speak for themselves.  8-1 record, 3.32 ERA and 1.184 WHIP.  While he walks a shade too many batters (30/51 BB/K), he gives up far fewer hits than innings pitched.  Based on his minor league numbers, I do not expect him to keep up his current pace.  The 2nd and 3rd times through the league, I expect NL batters will have a better book on Gee.  As the amount of innings pitched increases as well in the hot summer months, Gee will likely wear down.  In 2009, Gee missed most of the season due to a shoulder injury.  The Mets will likely wear kid gloves with him to some extent and not over extend his arm or risk causing further injury.

The New York Mets currently sit at 39-39, a .500 record with almost half a season completed.  Not much was expected of a team with a great deal of scandal and turmoil surrounding it.  One of the few bright spots though, in addition to the strong play and resurgent seasons by Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, has been the emergence of Dillon Gee.  The patchwork pitching of the staff is nothing to write home about.  Jonathon Niese, Mike Pelfrey, Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey have combined with Gee to keep the Mets afloat and the team competitive in ball games.  Chris Young fell early in the season and Johan Santana remains out following shoulder surgery.  If not for the play of Dillon Gee, the Mets could have found themselves in the basement of the NL East.  Instead, the team is in striking distance of the Braves for 2nd place in the division.

We should know by August if we have a possible Rookie of the Year in New York or another hot-shot prospect that had a couple of good months in Dillon Gee.  With so much misery surrounding the Mets, it is a pleasure to see a bright hope emerge within its pitching staff.  Dillon Gee this year evolved from an unknown minor leaguer that was considered a middle-of-the-road prospect to top starter status.  Mets fans are hoping they have caught lightning in a bottle in Gee for the long-term success of its team.  In the meantime, Gee will continue to pitch every fifth day in New York and give his team the best chance to succeed.  That is really all the Mets can ask for at the end of the day.

 

 

 

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*** As a special note, the Dillon Gee feature represents the 100th article in the history of MLB reports.  We wanted to thank you, the readers, for all your support.  We hope that you enjoy reading our articles as much as we enjoy writing them.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to one love for all of us:  Baseball. ***

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Danny Espinosa,Washington Nationals: Hidden National Treasure

 Monday June 27, 2011

 

 

MLB reports:   With the shortage of quality second basemen in baseball, teams are always on the prowl for the next Roberto Alomar or Ryan Sandberg.  We often hear the names Dustin Ackley and Neil Walker thrown around.  Sitting quietly in Washington though is one of the better all-around second basemen in the game.  With each home run, the secret is starting to get out of the bag.  The Nationals keep winning games and building towards the Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg era.  But before the next can’t miss prospects make their mark, Washington already has a rookie assaulting the MLB record books.  His name:  Danny Espinosa.

The 24-year old Espinosa was born in California and selected by the Nationals in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft.  He made his major league debut last year and retained rookie eligibility in 2011.  The heir apparent to the shortstop position from once incumbent Christian Guzman, Espinosa moved to second for 2011,  took a hold of the job and ran with it.  Considering he had to learn a new position on the fly, Espinosa’s production is that much more impressive.

 

Here is a look at Espinosa’s numbers during his time in the minors:

Year Tm Lev AB R H HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2008 Vermont A- 64 8 21 0 4 2 2 17 17 .328 .476 .359
2009 Potomac A+ 474 90 125 18 72 29 11 74 129 .264 .375 .460
2010 2 Teams AA-AAA 481 80 129 22 69 25 11 41 116 .268 .337 .464
2010 Harrisburg AA 386 66 101 18 54 20 8 33 94 .262 .334 .464
2010 Syracuse AAA 95 14 28 4 15 5 3 8 22 .295 .349 .463
3 Seasons   1019 178 275 40 145 56 24 132 262 .270 .365 .455

 

Now let’s take a look at what Danny Espinosa has produced in the majors:

Year AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2010 103 16 22 4 1 6 15 0 2 9 30 .214 .277 .447
2011 277 39 67 12 4 14 47 9 2 22 70 .242 .323 .466
2 Seasons 380 55 89 16 5 20 62 9 4 31 100 .234 .311 .461
162 Game Avg. 581 84 136 24 8 31 95 14 6 47 153 .234 .311 .461

 

In addition to have a top-rated glove defensively, Espinosa has produced quite well offensively in the majors.  He is on pace for an outstanding 30+ home runs with close to 100 RBIs.  Middle-of-the order type numbers are what we are projecting, not the standard second base type production.  As with many rookies, Espinosa still has a difficult time making contact and his BB/K ratio will require substantial improvement for him to develop into a batting champion one day.  But the numbers in the minors show a great deal of promise.  The power has come at an early stage for Espinosa, it is the balance of his offensive game that needs to be rounded into form.

As with any young players, it is difficult and somewhat unfair to have comparisons to establish major league players, let alone ones of the Hall of Fame variety.  But Danny Espinosa is showing some Ryan Sandberg type qualities at the plate at an early age with his strong power bat.  Second basemen traditionally have strong gloves and any production offensively would be considered a bonus.  Players of the Danny Espinosa variety do not come along very often.  Washington currently sits with a 40-39 record, above .500 as we near the All-Star break.  With the team playing explosive baseball (7-3 in last 10, 22-13 at home), the baseball world is starting to turn its attention to Washington.  At the forefront is rookie Danny Espinosa.  A possible All-Star come next month, expect to see Espinosa in many All-Star games to come.  Come one October soon, we expect to see Espinosa, Harper and Strasburg competing for a World Series title.  The word is out on Danny Espinosa, who will form a core for the next decade in building Washington into the next powerhouse team. 

 

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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