Anthony Gose Era On The Horizon
Anthony Gose is facing a log jam of outfielders in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, Gose was dealt to Toronto in the summer of 2010 in a deal that sent another highly touted prospect in first baseman Brett Wallace to the Houston Astros. Since that trade Gose has done nothing but impress. Moving quickly through the minor league system, Gose went from playing high A ball in 2010 to playing in his first Major League Baseball game less then two years later at the ripe old age of 21. Along the way, Gose has shown he has above average defensive skills to go along with his trademark blazing speed. Along the way, he has improved steadily on his offensive game, lowering his strikeout to walk ratio from 2.48 in 2011 at AA New Hampshire to 2.06 in 102 games at AAA Las Vegas. For Gose though, the path to the 2013 starting lineup seems to marked by obstacles.
With one very public offseason, Alex Anthopoulos turned the Jays from a 73 win ball club in 2012, to the odds on favourites to win the World Series in 2013. Along with all the changes came two proven MLB outfielders in Melky Cabrera and Emilio Bonifacio to go along with incumbent outfielders Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Rajai Davis. While Bonifacio will see the majority of his playing time this year in the infield, that still leaves four established outfielders standing between Gose and a starting job in Toronto. While it may seem Anthony Gose is destined to play out this season for the newly minted Buffalo Bisons, further evaluation could lead one to connect the dots to a starting job by mid-season. There are currently two paths that could lead Gose to a starting gig with Toronto Blue Jays. The first being an injury to one of the aforementioned outfielders. In any scenario that a Jays outfielder has to miss some significant time, Gose will likely be on his way to Toronto. Even if the outfielders for the Toronto Blue Jays manage to stay healthy for the entire season, I still believe there is a scenario that will lead Anthony Gose to a full time Major League player this season.
Since coming to Toronto in a mid-season trade in 2011, Colby Rasmus has been the subject of much scrutiny. Once a can’t miss prospect who hit .276/23/66 in only his second full season in the majors, Rasmus has since seen his AVG drop to a career low .223 and his strikeouts jump to 149 last year. Colby signed a one year deal in the off-season and the lack of commitment from the Blue Jays speaks volumes here. Anthopolous is clearly not sold on Rasmus as the center fielder of the future and unless Colby has a career year, he will be the perfect candidate to move in a mid-season trade to acquire some pitching depth for a potential playoff run. Moving Rasmus would signal the beginning of the Anthony Gose era, and if he grabbed the job and ran with it, we may see him patrolling center field for the Jays for the next decade.