Scouting Mets Prospect #13: Dillon Gee

Gee could have got to New York if not for injury

The Mets moved aggressively with Dillion Gee following one of the more complete seasons of any pitching prospect in 2008. Gee, who was invited to big league camp spring training, was assigned to Buffalo after just four Double-A starts last season. His season, however, was cut short by a shoulder injury and now he is working his way back.

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Vital Statistics
Name: Dillon Gee
DOB: April 28, 1986
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Status: 21st Round (2007) – UT-Arlington

The New York Mets exemplified the value they saw in third-year pitcher Dillon Gee when they assigned him to Triple-A after a small sample in Double-A. Gee put together one of the strongest seasons of any prospect in 2008 when he stifled hitters in High-A and had four dynamic starts with Binghamton. Gee had the opportunity to take his game to the next level when the organization assigned him to Buffalo following a strong showing in spring training.

"It was a great opportunity to show I can handle a higher level," said Gee. "I know I was in Binghamton for a short time, but (the organization) thought I was ready for Triple-A and I wanted to show that I could pitch well there."

Unfortunately for Gee, his 2009 season did not materialize as he hoped and the Mets anticipated. The right-hander had his moments in Triple-A, including three starts of at least six innings and one run allowed or less. In all, Gee went 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings over nine starts.

Yet it was after his last start on May 25 that Gee was diagnosed with a tear in his labrum. Luckily for Gee, who pitched deep into winter ball in 2008 after 154 1/3 regular season innings, it was not significant enough to require surgery. However, he did not pitch again the rest of the season.

"I had the Mets doctors and then Dr. (James) Andrews both look at it and both told me that I had a labrum tear, but they told me they weren't too worried about it," Gee explained. "They said from the looks of it, that it wasn't too serious."

"The main causes of it was that, as tired as I was, the back of my shoulder was really getting strained and ligaments had taken too much," he continued. "Then, as tired as I was, my mechanics became a little off and that just multiplied everything. It was more that I was just beat down and worn down."

Gee was shut down for the rest of the season and did not pick up a ball again until late June. It was a disappointing turn of events for a pitcher the organization hoped would take another step in 2009.

"I think he was right on track," said Mets pitching coordinator Rick Waits. "The one thing with him is that he's figured everything out already. He has good foundations of command the strike zone down and away to a righty. That's a big step. I think we'll get bigger things out of him."

Gee should be right on track come the spring. He turned down the chance to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League, but got back to pitching in December and is looking ahead to getting to 2010.

"Looking back, I felt like I did a decent job though I wasn't as consistent as I wanted to be," Gee said. "I just want to come back rested and give my team the best chance to win."





























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Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Gee will not overpower with his fastball, but settles in at 90-92 MPH. He uses command and running movement to his advantage, and is not afraid to throw it inside to hitters on either side of the plate. That keeps hitters from sitting on his fastball and helps set up his secondary pitches. He does not often use the fastball to finish hitters, but can sneak it in their when he has hitters anticipating his changeup.

Other Pitches: Gee's plus changeup is his best secondary pitch and the one he relies on most to stay ahead of hitters. He gets excellent fade and late drop that gets many swings over the top of it. His arm speed and pacing is identical to the fastball which makes it very difficult for hitters to read the pitch. He throws his changeup in the mid-70s, giving it ideal velocity difference off his fastball. His curveball is his top secondary pitch. He throws it in the high-70s with good overhand break and command in the zone. He mixes in his low-80s slider, but it is his fourth pitch and one he limits to when he is ahead in the count. It has effective break down and away to right-handers.

Pitching: Pitching ahead and getting first pitch strikes are key to Gee's success. Plus command, especially down in the zone, and pitch sequencing provide the ability to do that. That leads to a very low walk total and generally low pitch counts. He works quickly and possesses a clean delivery that should not compound any injury issues. He has a high pitching I.Q. which gives him the ability to really mix it up with hitters.

Projection: Gee's repertoire, especially a plus changeup, and makeup gives him a big league future. His highest ceiling is middle of the back of the rotation, but he has enough movement on his secondary pitches that he should achieve success as a value arm for a big league rotation. His comeback from injury could delay things a bit, but it is a matter of time before Gee settles into the 25-man roster.

ETA: 2010. Again, how he bounces back from his labrum injury will be significant to how Gee's season plays out. Nevertheless, he should return to Buffalo when healthy, and where successful pitching will make him one of the first arms called off the farm in a time of need. Recommended Stories