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A Couple Of Thoughts On Dillon Gee

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Last night, Dillon Gee set a new Buffalo Bisons single-season strikeout record, and this morning Toby Hyde took a look at Gee's profile, and concluded that

[H]e strikes out more guys than the average AAA pitcher, walks fewer but gives up more home runs, and has a higher batting average against to go along with a higher BABIP against. There could be some element of luck involved, but the Bisons have been trotting out a pretty solid defensive team behind him, so I read the numbers as suggesting that when batters do make contact against Gee, they’re hitting it harder relatively than they do against the average IL pitcher.

This is all based on Gee's performance relative to the rest of the International League, which looks like this:

ERA SO % BB% HR % AVG BABIP
IL Average 4.18 18.7 8.4 2.3 .263 .306
Dillon Gee 4.84 23.2 5.5 3.1 .274 .333

Buffalo is a slight hitter's park, which gives Gee a tiny extra boost relative to the league (his numbers above are not park-adjusted). Gee is probably destined to be an unspectacular major league pitcher, but Toby might be short-shrifting him a bit here.

A couple of observations.

  1. You're doing it wrong. Per MinorLeagueSplits, Gee is allowing a modest 16.2% line drive rate, which gives a rough-and-dirty expected BABIP of .282 (or a likely range of, say, .270 to .290). His .333 actual BABIP could very well indicate that he is allowing more soft hits than we would otherwise expect him to, based on the types and frequencies of his batted balls (fly balls, ground balls, line drives, popups). Given enough opportunities we might expect his BABIP to settle a bit lower than .333, which would lower his AVG against as well, among other things.

  2. No platoon split. Gee has actually pitched a little better against lefties than righties. Just 13 walks allowed in 69.2 innings versus 20 unintentional walks in 75.1 innings against righties, with similar strikeout rates against both. This doesn't appear to be a 2010 aberration; throughout his minor league career he has pitched well against lefties.

I'm guessing we'll see him at some point in September when rosters expand, and while he isn't likely to pitch enough for us to reasonably gauge his big league readiness, his peripherals and batted ball data are encouraging.