DG may stand for Dillon Gee, but they may as well also stand for Damn Good.
Coming off a year where his WAR was only .2 above replacement level, Dillon Gee appeared to be shaping into a fringe five or six starter. This year has been a bit of a different story.
Dillon has the 12th highest swinging strike percentage (SwStr) in baseball this year at 11%, ahead of guys like Tim Lincecum. One may see this and say, “oh well I mean SMALL SAMPLE SIZE MORON,” but they would potentially be wrong.
Dillon has thrived this year throwing his off-speed stuff more often, decreasing his percentage of fastballs thrown from 55.6% in 2011 down to 49.3 this year. In concurrence, the decrease in fastballs has lead to more curve balls (9.8% to 13.5%) and cutters (7.7% up to 12.5%).
The increased amount of off-speed pitches has lead to a higher amount of ground-balls, increasing that from 47.4% in 2011, up to 52.2% in 2012. The ground-balls may be attributed to the higher percentage of swings at non-strikes (32.6% up to 36.8%), which presumably has been caused by his increase in off-speed pitches.
Looking deeper into the types of fastballs he has thrown, he hasn’t even used his straight fastball most of the time! Even though Fangraphs pitch f/x separated the cutters, Brooksbaseball goes even deeper, showing that Dillon has thrown more sinking fastballs than straight ones this season (27%-22%). More evidence that the ground-ball rate is very sustainable.
Hopefully Dillon can continue to pitch near this level, even if it is unlikely. One thing is for sure though: We all underestimated Dillon Gee.
So what do you guys think about Dillon’s performance so far? SSS? Or sign of what’s to come?
Keep checking in for a chance to win free Mets tickets!