Anthony Gose

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Anthony Robert Gose

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Biographical Information[edit]

Anthony Gose reached the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012 as an outfielder. He later became a pitcher, winning an Olympic Silver Medal.

Gose was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 2008 amateur draft; the pick (along with that of Zach Collier earlier) was compensation for the loss of Aaron Rowand to free agency. Anthony was signed by scout Tim Kissner and debuted that summer, going 10 for 39 with two doubles, a triple, a walk and 3 steals for the 2008 GCL Phillies.

In 2009, Anthony hit .259/.323/.353 for the Lakewood BlueClaws and stole 76 bases in 96 tries. He led not just the South Atlantic League, but all of minor league baseball in steals, 3 ahead of Dee Gordon. Gose also led the SAL in times caught stealing. Baseball America rated him the best baserunner and fastest baserunner in the SAL and as the #13 prospect, between Tony Sanchez and Tim Federowicz. Gose made the SAL All-Star outfield alongside Ronnie Welty and Scott Robinson. It was rumored that Gose was one of the players which the Toronto Blue Jays really wanted in return for ace Roy Halladay after the season, but the Phillies wouldn't budge, and the Jays settled for three other top prospects instead.

Gose began 2010 with the Clearwater Threshers, putting up an okay batting line (.263/.325/.385) while running much worse (36 steals, 27 times caught). He was then traded with J.A. Happ and Jonathan Villar to the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt. Houston quickly shipped him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Wallace, confirming the sense that he had been in the Jays' sights all along. he hit .255/.360/.426 in 27 games for the Dunedin Blue Jays to finish the season. Overall, he tied Jose Pirela for the Florida State League with 13 triples, led in steals (45, one ahead of Kevin Mattison and Josh Prince), led in times caught stealing (32, more than double anyone else), led in outfield putouts (310), was 7th with 132 strikeouts and was second with 88 runs (two behind Erik Komatsu). He easily led minor league baseball in times gunned down running (9 more than Kyle Rose). He was named the FSL All-Star utility outfielder, with the top three spots going to Quincy Latimore, Melky Mesa and Komatsu. Baseball America listed him as the 8th-best FSL prospect, between Brett Jackson and Trevor May as well as naming him the best defensive outfielder, fastest baserunner and most exciting player in that circuit.

In 2011, he moved up to AA and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League. On a team loaded with prospects, he hit .253/.349/.415 in 137 games, with 20 doubles, 7 triples and 16 homers, scoring 87 runs and stealing 70 bases while only being caught 15 times for a big improvement there. He had 14 assists to 3 errors. He was third in the EL in runs (behind Jamie Johnson and Starling Marte, tied for 8th in triples (7), easily led in steals (20 more than #2 Greg Miclat), led in times caught stealing (by only one), was second in strikeouts (154, 2 behind Xavier Avery, also the most of any Jays minor leaguer that year) and tied for second in times plunked (13, one behind Tony Sanchez). In the affiliated minors, only Billy Hamilton stole more bases (103, well more than Gose). He made the EL All-Star outfield alongside Marte and Chih-Hsien Chiang. He was named the fastest baserunner in the EL by Baseball America. He hit .250 in the Arizona Fall League and only .182/.262/.218 in 18 games for the Venezuelan League's Tigres de Aragua.

He was promoted to the AAA Las Vegas 51s to start the 2012 season, and hit .292/.375/.432 in his first 92 games, stealing 29 bases in 39 tries, scoring 77 runs and legging out 10 triples. He was among the PCL's top 5 in triples, runs (3rd behind Adam Eaton and Jake Elmore and steals (battling Eaton and Elmore for the lead). He was named to the U.S. team in the 2012 Futures Game and made one of the key plays of the game, a catch of a difficult line drive off the bat of Oscar Taveras in center field in the 3rd inning that prevented a big inning. Losing 4-0 at the time, the U.S. immediately began a comeback that led them to an emphatic 17-5 win. He started the game batting 9th and playing center field. In his first at-bat, he singled off Chris Reed and scored on a triple by Billy Hamilton to cut it to 4-2. He drew a Felipe Rivero walk in his other plate appearance, in the 4th. He then was replaced in the batting order by Christian Yelich, who came in to play right, while Wil Myers moved from right to center to take Gose's spot in the field.

Gose got the call-up to the Jays on July 17, 2012 against the New York Yankees to replace the injured Jose Bautista. He came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Ben Francisco during the 7th inning, grounding out against Boone Logan. He then got a bunt hit off Clay Rapada in the 9th in a 6-1 loss. He played 56 games for the Jays, hitting .223 with 1 homer, 25 runs and 11 RBIs. In 2013, he hit .259 in 52 games as he again split time between the majors and minors. He played in 94 games in 2014, getting 239 at-bats, and hit .226 with 2 homers while slugging just .293. While he was playing good defence in centerfield, the Blue Jays decided he was never going to hit well enough to justify a regular position.

On November 12, 2014, Gose was traded to the Detroit Tigers in return for prospect Devon Travis; the Tigers were looking at him as potential competitor or complement to Rajai Davis in centerfield in 2015. It was indeed his busiest season, as he played 140 games, hitting .254 with 5 homers and 26 RBIs. He scored 73 runs and also stole 23 bases. However, 2016 was a rough year. He started off hitting .209 in 30 games in Detroit and was demoted the the AAA Toledo Mud Hens in May as Cameron Maybin took over in centerfield. With Toledo, he earned another demotion, this time to the AA Erie SeaWolves, but because of off-field issues. He got into an argument with manager Lloyd McClendon on July 9th, and things became heated enough for the Tigers to suspend him for a few days and then send him down. He did not play in the majors again after that and hit only a combined .203 in 90 games between AAA Toledo and AA Erie.

In 2017, he was an early cut in spring training and the Tigers' brass approached him about converting to pitching, given his struggles at the plate and the fact he had in the past been clocked up to 97 mph on his fastball - well above average for a lefthander. After extended spring training, he made his debut with the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Florida State League on May 22nd and hit 99 mph on the radar gun. He pitched 11 times for Lakeland, putting up an ERA of 7.59 in 10 2/3 innings before being shut down because of a sore elbow. He gave up just 7 hits and 6 walks while striking out 14, so his ERA was worse than his pitching would normally have warranted. On December 4th, he signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers, but only two weeks later, the Houston Astros decided to take a flier on him in the 2017 Rule V Draft, banking on the strength of his arm in spite of his extremely limited amount of pitching experience. He did not last long in spring training in 2018, however, as he was placed on waivers on March 6th after just one Grapefruit League outing, during which he walked all three batters he faced. He did hit 98 mph on the radar gun, but his command was nowhere near where it needed to be to justify a spot on the 25-man roster. He returned to the Rangers and split the season between the Down East Wood Ducks of the Carolina League, where he went 1-0, 1.35 in 7 games, and the Frisco Rough Riders of the AA Texas League, where he was also 1-0, but with a 6.52 ERA in 32 games. He also walked 23 batters while striking out 18 in 19 1/3 innings in Frisco. He played some outfield in both cities, hitting a combined 10 for 42 (.238).

In 2019, he signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Indians and again pitched for a couple of minor league teams, doing very well in Class A, and better than the previous season in AA. With the Lynchburg Hillcats, he was 1-1, 0.82 in 10 games, then with the Akron Rubber Ducks, he went 0-3, but with an ERA of 3.50. Control was still an issue, as he walked 29 batters in as many innings between the two stops, but he also struck out 35 opponents. For the first time of his career, he was used exclusively as a pitcher. In 2020, he was in spring training with the Indians and impressed by hitting 100 mph on the radar gun at regular intervals, while generally throwing around 96-98 mph. The main issue for him was repeating his mechanics from one outing to the next. However, the suspension of the minor leagues because of the Coronavirus pandemic meant he could not pitch competitively that season, something that he needed badly given his advancing age.

More than five years after his last major league appearance as a position player, Gose made it back on September 20, 2021 as a hard-throwing reliever for the Indians. He hit 100 mph while pitching 1 2/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals. That came after he had won a silver medal as a member of the United States team at the Tokyo Olympics earlier that summer.


Further Reading[edit]

  • Mandy Bell: "Gose's 100-mph gas fuels his move to mound",, March 7, 2020. [1]
  • Anthony Castrovince: "Former OF Gose touches 100 in mound debut: Five years after last Majors appearance, reliever gets Cleveland fired up with 'live fastball'",, September 20, 2021. [2]
  • George Sipple: "Detroit Tigers will try to convert OF Anthony Gose into pitcher", Detroit Free Press, March 26, 2017. [3]

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