Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dillon Gee - Rookie Of The Year?

Courtesy of Michael Baron
It seems as though each of the past two years the Mets have stumbled upon a few diamonds in the rough.  The 2010 season saw an outstanding campaign put together by the veteran, R.A. Dickey.  The 2011 season is no exception either, as the Mets have seemingly lucked out with the services of Jason Isringhausen, who has been superb all season and is now closing in on his 300th save.  Despite these stories of resurrected careers, the first thing the team and it's fans should take away from this season will be Dillon Gee.

Left on the outside looking in for much of the 2010 season, Gee entered spring training with his spot in Queens being no sure thing.  After a successful spring, he still didn't make the trip north with the team until April 17th due to the ability of Terry Collins to use off days and go with a four-man rotation.  Since that time however, Gee hasn't looked back.  In his 17 games started this season, Gee now sports a record of 10-3 with a 3.69 ERA. On only one occasion over that time has Gee allows more than six runs in an outing, making quality performances his norm.

When comparing him to other rookie pitchers, it may not even be close.  Vance Worley of the Phillies is a distance second right now, having pitched to a 6-1 record with a 2.02 ERA over the course of 11 games started.  Worley may also see his playing time diminish with the return of Roy Oswalt and will almost certainly be the odd man out in that rotation as the playoffs near.

Should Worley drop out of the race, the pursuit of the NL Rookie of the Year Award may come down to Dillon Gee and Atlanta first baseman, Freddie Freeman.  Batting .295 with 15 HR and 52 RBIs, Freeman is amassing an equally impressive rookie campaign and at this point looks to be Gee's fiercest competition for the award.

Unfortunately, in instances such as this it is often the player on the team which goes to the playoffs that ends up winning the award.  At this point in time, that would leave Freeman with the decided edge, but as the Mets continue to play well, if they can work their way back into contention, it may again boost Gee's chances should he continue to pitch well.  Playoffs or not, Gee is having an excellent year and should without question be in consideration for the award should his level of success continue.

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