When making a list of players that I wanted to see in Arizona, Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose was right at the top. Acquired in exchange for Brett Wallace, the left-handed hitting center fielder showed a rare combination of power and speed while at Double-A New Hampshire in 2011.
In Arizona, Gose showed serious pop and an aggressive approach. He’s got plus power potential and extreme speed. He’s also got serious holes in his swing; it seemed like every at-bat that I got video of resulted in either a laser line drive or a bad looking strikeout. Gose will swing at just about everything thrown his way and can get into a habit of guessing at the plate. He has great hand-eye coordination and can put many pitches in play. The primary reason for his low batting average is his lack of selectivity – he struck out 26% of the time.
Defensively, Gose has elite speed and a powerful arm. I saw him casually fire a ball in on a line from the wall in right-center to third base on a fly, wowing everybody in the stadium. He’s a true athlete who has solid instincts and looks comfortable tracking balls down in the gaps.
At the very least this is a plus defensive center fielder with base-stealing ability. There’s no question Gose needs to rein in his uber-agressive approach and increase his contact rate to take better advantage of his speed. That said, Gose has star upside and will go as far as his hit tool allows him to. You wouldn’t be out of line to dream on 15-20 HR and 50 SB production from him.
Gose will play most of 2012 at 21 years old. I’d expect Toronto to start him back in Double-A with the intention of pushing him to Triple-A if he’s able to show improvements in his approach and ability to hit for average. It wouldn’t shock me to see him push for a September callup for a taste of the big leagues.
For more on Gose, listen to Episode 62 of the Project Prospect Podcast.
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