Q&A: Anthony Gose, Blue Jay in Progress

Anthony Gose has seen his big-league career get off to a slow start. The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder has hit just .183/.256/.244 in 92 plate appearances since debuting in mid-July. He promises to get much better as he matures, though. As one of the top prospects in Toronto’s organization, the 22-year-old (as of Aug. 10) left-handed hitter has both a sprinter’s speed and emerging power (70 stolen bases and 16 home runs last year in Double-A). He also has excellent defensive chops, including good instincts and a well-above-average arm. What he lacks is experience, which he should gain a lot more of this coming month.

Gose came to Toronto in 2010 from the Phillies, via the Astros, in a three-team deal. He talked about his development path — as well as his first week as a big- leaguer — when the Blue Jays visited Fenway Park last month.

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Gose on developing as a hitter: “A tremendous amount has changed since I was in the Florida State League [in 2010]. There’s been the whole transformation of my swing — my mechanics. That’s been a gradual thing ever since I was traded over here, and even throughout this season. There have also been, at times, more drastic changes. Now it’s more just fine-tuning things; it’s more on the smaller end of changes.

“When I got traded over, it became more of being able to swing the bat for a little bit more power — trying to drive the ball. I’ve been focusing on making two-strike adjustments and barreling the ball more consistently, as well as just getting on base.

“I went through a number of different stances when I first got over. “I went from staying back behind the ball, last year, to getting in. I’m more consistent in my approach this year. There have even been some stance changes this year. I’m not sure that I can describe my stance. I just get in the box, feel comfortable and get ready to hit.”

On hitting for power: “I’m trying to hit the ball hard every time I swing the bat. I don’t know what my power is, but I’m a fairly strong kid. I’m just trying to hit the ball with the barrel of the bat, and if it goes, it goes.

“I think that everybody’s goal is to be a complete hitter, a complete, all-around player. Being able to drive the ball is definitely one of those things that everybody wants to be able to do.

“When I was in Triple-A, [the coaches] had me working on my two-strike approach and being consistent. Since I’ve been up here — and it’s only been four games — they’re letting me go out there and play, and get a feel for the game. They want to do as much learning as I can.”

On stealing bases: “I want to be an exciting player. Going into the Florida State League, I remember that I wanted to steal 100 bases. I ended up having a terrible season [45 stolen bases in 77 attempts]. I still want to run as much as possible, but guys are obviously a lot better here in the big leagues. They’re the best of the best, so I have to be smart about the opportunities to run, smart about picking and choosing the times. You can’t just run like it’s low-A anymore. You have to be smart and do it to benefit the team.”

On data and reports: “There are all kinds of reports here, so I have an opportunity to see a lot of stuff on a lot of different guys, and a lot of different parts of the game. Having this amount of data is new to me. In the minor leagues, it’s limited data. Here, they have every stat that you can think of, on every single guy. That obviously goes for the opposing team having everything on your team, including yourself. It’s definitely a lot more data than I’ve been accustomed to.”

On being in the big leagues: “This has been surreal. It’s been unbelievable, just to be on the field here in Boston, and in New York, where I made my major league debut. This is obviously a tremendous opportunity. It’s special to be a part of this team. It’s a great group of guys, and hopefully I’ll be here for a long time.”



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David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from February 2006-March 2011 and is a regular contributor to several publications. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.


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