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Joseph William Dillon (born August 2, 1975) is an American former professional baseball utility player, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, and Tampa Bay Rays,[1] and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Yomiuri Giants.[2] He currently serves as assistant hitting coach for the Washington Nationals.[3]

Joe Dillon
Joe Dillon (46667344905) (cropped).jpg
Dillon with the Washington Nationals in 2019
Washington Nationals – No. 25
Utility player/ Coach
Born: (1975-08-02) August 2, 1975 (age 44)
Modesto, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 18, 2005, for the Florida Marlins
Last MLB appearance
August 4, 2009, for the Tampa Bay Rays
MLB statistics
Batting average.263
Home runs3
Runs batted in19
As player
As coach
Career highlights and awards


After graduating from Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, California in 1993, Dillon entered college at Santa Rosa Junior College and then Texas Tech University. His college baseball career with the Texas Tech Red Raiders included a 33 home run season in 1997, a record which still stands today.[4]

Professional baseball playerEdit

Kansas City Royals organization (1997–2001)Edit

On June 3, 1997, Dillon was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round (211th overall) of the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft.[1] He played the 1997 season with the Low-A Spokane Indians, the 1998 season with the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts, and the 1999 season with the High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks. Dillon split the 2000 season between the Double-A Wichita Wranglers and the Triple-A Omaha Royals. During his time with Omaha, he suffered a herniated disc in his back.[5] He returned to Omaha for the 2001 season.

Minnesota Twins organization (2001–2003)Edit

On December 31, 2001, Dillon was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2001 Rule 5 Draft. For the 2002 season, he was assigned to the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats, spending nearly the entire season there, before being promoted to the Triple-A Edmonton Trappers.

Brief retirement (2003–2004)Edit

Continued problems with his back, including increasing stiffness, prompted Dillon to retire during spring training 2003. On March 24, 2003, he was released from the Twins. During the year, Dillon underwent back surgery to repair the herniated disc. Following that, he returned to his alma mater, Texas Tech University, to coach its 2003 baseball team. His back felt better, and he decided to return to playing professional baseball.[5]

Florida Marlins organization; major league debut (2004–2005)Edit

On March 17, 2004, Dillon was signed as a free agent by the Florida Marlins. He began the 2004 season with the Double-A Carolina Mudcats, before being promoted to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.

Dillon began the 2005 season with Florida, before returning briefly to Albuquerque. On May 18, 2005, he was recalled to the big leagues, making his MLB debut that same afternoon,[6] when (by an unfortunate coincidence) Marlins starting third-baseman Mike Lowell lost a foul pop-up by Milton Bradley of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sun, causing Lowell to be struck by the ball in his face, subsequently forcing him to leave the game. Dillon’s stat line for his first major league game included four at bats, one hit, and one strikeout. For the season, in 36 at bats, he posted a batting average of .167 with one home run.[1] After the season, Dillon was granted free agency.

Venados de Mazatlán (2005)Edit

Dillon joined the Mazatlán Deer of the Pacific Mexican Winter League late in the 2004–2005 season, helping the team win the Caribbean Series championship.

Yomiuri Giants (2006)Edit

Dillon was signed by the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, for the 2006 season. He played the entire season in Japan.

Florida Marlins organization (2006–2007)Edit

Upon returning to American professional baseball, Dillon re-joined the Florida Marlins, who signed him to a minor league contract, on December 20, 2006. The following spring, he asked for, and received, his release from the contract.

Milwaukee Brewers organization (2007–2008)Edit

On April 1, 2007, Dillon signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, who assigned him to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League. On August 1, 2007, he was called up to the Brewers along with Elmer Dessens when pitcher Scott Linebrink left on bereavement leave and second baseman Rickie Weeks was sent down to Nashville.

Although expectations were high for Dillon in the off-season prior to the 2008 campaign,[7] he failed to make the big league roster out of spring training, instead finding himself back in Triple-A Nashville. Dillon was recalled by the Brewers, on May 1, 2008; in a corresponding move, the Brewers designated relief pitcher Derrick Turnbow for assignment. [8]

Oakland Athletics organization (2008–2009)Edit

Following the 2008 season, Dillon was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics.[9]

On January 7, 2009, Dillon was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Jason Giambi and was sent outright to the minor leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays organization (2009-2010)Edit

Dillon with the Tampa Bay Rays during spring training in 2010

On May 10, 2009, Dillon traded by Oakland to the Tampa Bay Rays, in return for Adam Kennedy.[1] He played in 15 MLB games in 2009, mostly as a designated hitter (DH) and pinch hitter. Dillon compiled a .300 BA, with one home run, and two RBI.[1]

On December 18, 2009, Dillon re-signed a minor league contract with the Rays. Dillon attempted to add catcher to his list of fielding positions in spring training of the 2010 season.[10] He retired following his release, November 6, 2010.


2005 29 FLA NL 27 36 6 6 1 0 1 1 10 1 0 8 1 0 1 3 0 0 .167 .211 .278 .489
2007 31 MIL NL 39 76 12 26 8 2 0 10 38 5 0 14 0 0 1 2 0 0 .342 .390 .500 .890
2008 32 MIL NL 56 75 13 16 3 0 1 6 22 13 0 21 1 0 1 1 1 0 .213 .337 .293 .630
Totals: 122 187 31 48 12 2 2 17 70 19 0 43 2 0 3 6 1 0 .257 .335 .374 .709
Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Italics: led league. Bold italics: led MLB.

Coaching careerEdit

On December 20, 2013, Dillon was announced as the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals’ AAA affiliate Syracuse Chiefs.[11] He spent 2016–17 as minor league hitting coordinator for the Miami Marlins.[12]

Dillon was named as the assistant hitting coach for the Nationals for the 2018 season.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Joe Dillon Stats". Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Joe Dillon Minor & Japanese Leagues Statistics & History". Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Joe Dillon". Retrosheet. 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Cardinal Newman High School Trinity" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 15, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Ang, Kelvin. "Dillon gets the big call." August 1, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2007
  6. ^ "Florida Marlins 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 3". Retrosheet. May 18, 2005. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "Whispers: Bay-crossing for Barry on". The Chicago Tribune. January 5, 2008. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Topic Galleries". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "A's decline to exercise option on Embree; claim Dillon on waivers". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  10. ^ Chastain, Bill (February 19, 2010). "Dillon adding catching to repertoire". Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  11. ^ Kilgore, Adam (December 20, 2013). "Nats make minor league coaching changes". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Veasey, Matt (November 1, 2019). "Nationals' Joe Dillon emerges as Phillies hitting coach candidate". Retrieved November 15, 2019.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Troy Gingrich
Syracuse Chiefs hitting coach
Succeeded by
Brian Daubach
Preceded by
Jacque Jones
Washington Nationals assistant hitting coach
Succeeded by