Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Top Prospects #3: Anthony Gose

Name: Anthony Gose
Position: Centerfield
Acquired: 2nd round (2008), from Houston via Philadelphia
Opening Day age: 21
Height/weight: 6’1”/190 lbs
Best/worst tool: Arm/Bat
Risk factor: Medium
ETA: 2013

Scouting Report

Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopolous originally targeted Gose in the Roy Halladay trade talks with the Phillies, before eventually settling with Michael Taylor. Seven months and two prospects swaps later, Anthopolous finally had his man. After his first full season in the Blue Jays organization, it’s clear why the GM had his eyes on Gose – he’s got more tools than Mike Holmes’ workshop. In addition to playing outfield, Gose pitched in high school, clocking as high as 95 mph off the mound. That arm plays as a true 80 tool in center field, evident by his 13, 16, and 14 outfield assists over the last three seasons. His arm isn’t his only 80 tool, as Gose is likely a future Gold Glover in center field. His reads off the bat have improved significantly over the past few years, and when combined with his speed, he has exceptional range in center field. Like Brett Lawrie in Toronto, Gose gives 100% on every play, which some might consider a bit reckless. It’s especially dangerous when considering the situations his plus-plus speed might put him in, but that’s the way Gose plays, and no one is going to change him. While he’s exceptionally fast, his base running abilities haven’t always been as sharp, with him often running into outs. That’s something he’s put in effort into improving, however, and with an 82% success rate stealing bases in 2011, the works appears to be paying off. His power has made huge strides, as he’s transformed it from a below average tool to above average, with the potential for 15-20 home runs and a plethora of other extra base hits. The only aspect of his game that is lacking is his bat skills, where he’s below average. He has lightning fast hands and repeats his swing with a smooth weight transfer. He has a bit of a bat wiggle, but his stance is otherwise quiet with a wide base. Gose’s eye at the plate is good enough for him to consistently get deep into counts, but he lacks a sound two-strike approach which leads to plenty of strikeouts. His front side will occasionally fly open, exposing the outer half of the plate and making him susceptible to breaking balls.

2011 Statistics and Analysis

509 AB, .253/.349/.415 (.763 OPS), 20 2B, 7 3B, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 70 SB, 62/154 BB/K

While the batting average and strikeout rate (26.2%) are disappointing, Gose did improve a number of aspects of his game in 2011. The most notable difference was his power. His 162 ISO was a huge improvement on his 131 and 094 marks in 2010 and 2009 respectively, as was his 33.3 XBH%. While his strikeout rate did spike, his walk rate (10.6%) also rose with this power increase, a sign that he’s maturing as a hitter. Caught stealing became a bit of a problem in 2010 after Gose was successful in only 58% of his attempted stolen bases, but he turned that from a liability into a strength, succeeding in 82% of his attempts last season. Despite his speed, bunting hasn’t been a big part of Gose’s professional game. It’s possible that his coaches might push that on him a little more next season to boost his numbers, as only 20 bunt single attempts could raise his batting average significantly.

Expected 2012 Assignment: Triple-A Las Vegas

Future Outlook

Despite only turning 21 last August, Gose will be assigned to Triple-A in what will be his fourth year in full season ball. Since being drafted by Philadelphia and being assigned to the Single-A Sally League as an 18 year old, Gose has always been young for the level he’s played at. While this is perhaps a detriment to his overall numbers, it’s a developmental approach that will keep him challenged and better prepare him for facing major league caliber pitching. With Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League on the immediate horizon, Gose could put up some pretty ridiculous numbers in 2012. While it will be easy to get excited about the possible .300 average and 20+ home runs he’s likely going to hit, statistics like walk rate, strikeout rate, and BABIP will be the true indicators of whether or not Gose is actually learning something. His defense and athleticism will get him to Toronto in 2013, but his bat will determine if it’s as a regular or as a part timer.

Perfect World Projection: Everyday CF who hits at the top of the lineup, regular Gold Glove winner.


I have recently been hired as a Staff Writer over at Jays Journal, and therefore will be taking a hiatus from posting on Hypocritical Sports Fan after the conclusion of the Top 30 prospect series. I would like to thank you, my readers, as you are the reason why my writing was noticed by the guys at Jays Journal, and have allowed me to write for a much larger audience. I hope you will continue to follow my work over there, as I will continue to bring the same insight and analysis I have at HSF over the past year.

My first piece for the Journal was a look at Kyle Drabek, I hope you read and enjoy.