A perfectionist, Geer found himself in trouble when he left a few balls up in the zone. Normally well versed in keeping the ball down and flirting with the strike zone, Geer was touched up for five homers, all solo shots, over his last four games. Yet, he walked just four in 31.2 innings with the Ems.
"He pitched well, has a good feel for what he is doing and the change is his best pitch," Bill Bryk, the Padres' minor league field coordinator, said.
In fact, of the nine homers he allowed on the year, all were solo shots.
When he moved up to Fort Wayne, Geer had mixed amounts of success and disappointment. He posted a 4.25 ERA and waked four in his final game of the year – albeit 6.1 shutout innings.
In two of his final three starts, the right-hander gave up five runs per, something that had not happened previously. After a long college season, it could have been fatigue that wore him down.
"He was tired," Bryk confirmed. "I usually throw out the first year, good and bad."
"He won't overpower you but has a solid changeup and comes from a big time program," Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development, said. "He really has a good head on his shoulder sand has the ability to keep the ball down in the zone. He is going to throw strikes."
After a few weeks off, Geer returned for the Instructional League and tossed eight innings of scoreless ball, leaving a positive impression heading into the off-season.
One thing that wasn't compromised was his work with runners in scoring position (RISP). Over two leagues he allowed eight hits in 55 at bats with RISP, a .145 average against. And he allowed three hits in 21 at bats with RISP and two outs.
Geer mixes in a four-seam and two-seam fastball that averages 87-90 with a slider that breaks more like a curve – but his best pitch is the changeup. He will throw the 76-79 MPH change in any count and has confidence in his ability to spot the pitch.
"His secondary stuff is solid," Bill Gayton, the Padres' director of scouting, said. "I had a chance to see him personally several times. A really solid kid with good makeup, good delivery and three-pitch mix."
Some will question whether he has enough of a fastball to make it at the next level but he has proven to be a winner during his collegiate career. And, according to one Padres' scout, Geer has hit 93 on the radar gun in the past but sits comfortably in the 88-91 range.
The Padres would like to challenge the Texas native as early as next year as they believe him to be a polished pitcher that could snake through the system quickly.