The more I see Dillon Gee pitch, the more I see shades of Rick Reed and that’s more than fine by me. In the mid to late 90’s, Rick Reed was given another baseball life by Steve Phillips and the New York Mets.
Technically it was a 5th chance considering he was passed up by the Pirates, Royals, Rangers and the Reds. Nevertheless it was his tenacity and guile that I admired the most about Reed, who was often coined as a poor man’s Greg Maddux. He had, in my opinion, one of the best 2-seam fastballs I have ever seen whose name wasn’t Maddux.
I noticed on Twitter many fans comparing Dillon Gee to Maddux and it struck me how Gee, who ironically also wears 35 as Reed once did, is so eerily similar to Reed in style. In fact this article in the New York Times summed it up when they quoted Dan Warthen comparing Gee to Reed.
“He has four pitches that are all a tick above average,” Warthen said of Gee. “But he commands them all with pinpoint control and he really knows what he’s doing.”
In the article, current teammate Willie Harris who faced Gee when he with the Washington Nationals went on to say,
“He’s got superb control,” Harris said. “I could see he was putting it on both sides of the plate. You just had to pick a side and hope that’s where he was going. When you’ve got that kind of control and you are throwing it 89, 90, you’re going to be successful.”
If you didn’t know better you’d think Harris was talking about Rick Reed in his heyday as a Met. Both pitchers were low draft picks; Reed taken in the 26th round of the 1986 draft and Gee the 663rd pick in the 21st round of the 2007 draft. Neither pitcher was highly touted but there was something in Reed that both Bobby Valentine and his pitching coach Bob Apodaca saw in 1997.
Perhaps that similar extra something has migrated its way into Dillon Gee. I remember seeing him late last year and even this spring and was quite impressed with his command and poise. Let’s give Terry Collins and Dan Warthen credit for picking up on it. This could be quite the sleeper.
For a really great article on Rick Reed check out our own Ed Leyro’s article over at Studious Metsimus. The more you read about Reed, the more you’ll see that just possibly the Mets may have tapped into a bit of good Karma with Dillon Gee.