FanPost

Dillon Gee: Reason for Optimism

Bumped from FanPosts. This FanPost was originally published on March 9, 2012, but the predictions look good so far this season. I'll have more on Gee tomorrow, too. -- Chris

---

Dillon Gee really didn't have a great year last season. His 4.43 ERA was as mediocre as the advanced metrics painted him to be (4.65 FIP, 4.48 SIERA). However, one thing I noticed a while ago was his above average swinging strike rate.

Gee got opposing hitters to swing and miss at 9.1% of his pitches, a rate a tick above the league average of 8.6%. Despite that, his strikeout rate was a measly 16.2%, well below the 18.6% league average. When I noticed this, I decided to compare other pitchers' swinging strike and strikeout rates.* Gee was, unsurprisingly, one of the outliers, along with notable strikeout underachiever Jeremy Hellickson:

30bg11x_medium

* I filtered 2011 starting pitchers with at least 150 IP.

Turns out, Bradley Woodrum of Fangraphs kind of already did all the dirty work back in October and wrote an article about predicting strikeout rates from swinging strike rates. There's a large chart at the end of the article showing pitchers' swinging strike rates and their corresponding expected strikeout rates. Dillon Gee comes in fairly close to the top of the list with the following rates (note the decline in FIP):

Swinging Strike%: 9.1%

K%: 16.2%

FIP: 4.65

Expected K%: 22.2%

Expected FIP: 4.12

Well that looks better, right? A FIP in the low-4's certainly looks sexier than a FIP in the mid-4's to me. Furthermore, this would push Gee's xFIP of 4.46 to a much more palatable 3.93. That's a big improvement. And while that's still not a great number for a guy making nearly half of his starts in Citi Field, that also includes a BB/9 rate that is a hair under 4.

I have a feeling that is going to come down based on the fact Gee's control is just better than that; he walked just 2 batters per 9 innings in his entire minor league career and 2.5 batters per 9 in AAA, after all. Yes, that's not the Major Leagues, but it's still hard to imagine him sustaining a walk rate close to 4 per 9.

Gee's resume to date doesn't impress me. I look at his numbers and see a guy who was worth just 0.2 fWAR last season, which is basically replacement level. But there is definitely more that meets the eye when you do a little digging and a hint of forecasting. Who knows, maybe his swinging strike rate regresses next season or something, but there is definitely some reason to have optimism that he might be something better than a warm, replacement level body or generic number-five starter.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker