Toronto Blue Jays: Bold Predictions for Anthony Gose's Career
There is always a bright side to any situation.
When Jose Bautista went down against the Baltimore Orioles a few weeks ago, Jays fans everywhere boiled-over in frustration. Not only had the Jays pitching staff been decimated by injury, their most dangerous hitter went on the disabled list.
However, with a roster spot open, Jays fans saw a bright spot in Bautista's injury: top prospect Anthony Gose was called-up.
After a few games, Gose has not exactly torn the cover off the ball. He's hitting below .100 and is yet to steal a base.
But that doesn't take away from the fact that he's one of the most anticipated Blue Jays prospects in years. Alex Anthopoulos has loved him from the moment he sets his scouts' eyes on him and finally Jays fans will get a real look at what all the fuss was about.
Here's a look at some bold, outlandish, dare I say, crazy predictions for Anthony Gose's baseball career.
He Won't "Arrive" Until 2014
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Let's be realistic. We will have to wait to see Anthony Gose on any type of regular basis.
As it stands right now, the Jays have a very solid outfield. Jose Bautista is signed long-term, Colby Rasmus has had something of a breakout campaign looking very comfortable in centre, and I totally expect Travis Snider to finally stick in the big leagues.
The Jays don't want to have Gose sit on the bench and he'll likely be sent back down to AAA after Bautista comes off the 15-day disabled list.
There just isn't room for Gose...right now.
On the other hand, the Jays don't want to sit on Gose's talent for too long. The fact that they're already comfortable calling him up now shows that they think highly of his talent. The organization is excited about Gose and won't throw up roadblocks to keep him in Las Vegas.
After a few years, either when the organization's needs change or Gose develops to the point where he's simply too good to keep in AAA, he'll stick in the majors.
He Will Be the Jays' Carl Crawford
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About a week ago, I wrote an article discussing the elements the Jays were missing in order to be the next "Rays" of the AL East. Meaning, what the Jays need to contend in an ever-competitive division.
One of those things the Jays needed was a Carl Crawford; a leadoff man who can actually get on-base and create offense. A consistent threat to steal bases and wreak havoc for opposing defenses.
Anthony Gose can be that threat. He can be the Jays' Carl Crawford, vintage 2008.
Last year in AAA, Gose stole 70 bases. It doesn't matter where you're playing, whether it's Toronto, Las Vegas, or Dunedin, stealing 70 bases is something that doesn't come easy.
Occasionally, Gose can get too aggressive, getting caught stealing 32 times in 2010 and 10 times already in 2012. However, his on-base percentage has risen consistently over his years in the minors, going from a .323 in 2009 to a .375 mark in 2012.
A storyline for Gose heading into this season was how he would adjust his plate discipline. In 2011, Jays management encouraged him to swing away in an attempt to find his power stroke and Gose's strikeout numbers went through the roof.
In 2012, he was allowed to take pitches and has raised both his batting average and his walks.
There's really not much more you can ask for in a leadoff man. If you're looking for a player who can run, hit, and get on base, then Gose can do it all.
He Will Win a Gold Glove Award
Every scouting report on Anthony Gose mentions his outstanding defensive acumen.
For whatever reason, defensive talents seem to play second fiddle when reading about top-level prospects. You read "plus bat", "plus speed", and "plus defense" and a player's glove seems to be the least important.
Gose's defensive ability shouldn't be overlooked. While the video is shaky, just look at this catch he made during the MLB Futures Game.
He was drafted by the Astros as a pitcher, remember. As a teenage high-schooler in Bellflower, CA, Gose threw a 95 MPH fastball from the left side. Obviously the pitching thing didn't work out but Gose still has an absolute cannon of an arm. And in baseball, it doesn't matter what position you're playing, that always helps.
Imagine a player with the arm of John Smoltz and the legs of Ricky Henderson.
With skills like that, if and when Gose arrives, he'll be a consistent threat to pick up Gold Gloves.
He Will Be Traded
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It wouldn't be surprising in the least to see Alex Anthopoulos deal Gose in order to acquire a big name.
Since taking over from JP Ricciardi, Anthopoulos set his sights on Gose and pursued him during negotiations with Philadelphia concerning Roy Halladay. Gose wasn't part of the package for Halladay, but after the Phillies dealt him to Houston, Anthopoulos was quick to pull him out of Texas.
Even though the Jays GM went to great lengths to get Gose in the system, Anthopoulos has a team that is on the cusp of being a consistent playoff contender.
The fact that Gose is probably a few years away from being a legitimate MLB producer may cause Anthopoulos to get impatient and deal him for a player who can put Toronto over the top. Whether it's for a pitcher or a big bat, Gose could be a very valuable trading asset.
For those Jays fans waiting for Anthopoulos to make his "big deal", it's important to remember that to acquire talent you have to give up talent.
And Anthony Gose might be the talent Toronto has to give up.