Toronto Blue Jays Report Card: Anthony Gose


Toronto Blue Jays Report Card: Anthony Gose

With the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays season officially in the books, it comes time to reflect on the individual performances turned in by the players on the Jays’ roster.

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Over the coming days, each player on the team, aside from September call-ups, will have their season recapped and graded. Their contract status will also be examined.

Speedy outfielder Anthony Gose is the subject of today’s report card.

Aug 2, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Anthony Gose (8) during the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Astros defeated the Blue Jays 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: C+

Gose is one of the players on the Blue Jays roster who bounced back and forth between the big club and the Buffalo Bisons. Overall, he appeared in 94 games with the Jays, and they posted a record of 54-40 over those contests.

During his time in the majors in 2014, Gose hit .226 with an on-base percentage of .311. He drove in 13 runs, and surprisingly was able to knock two balls out of the park. Gose struggles against left-handed pitching, batting a mere .180 against southpaws. He is a player who is not going to reach base very often, but when he does, he has the potential to be a force on the base paths due to his world-class speed.

For a player like Gose, putting the ball in play is key to success. Infield singles are a realistic possibility, and with his speed running out of the batter’s box, opposing infielders may feel they need to rush, leading to errors. The problem? Gose struck out 74 times this season. That’s good for a strikeout percentage of 27%, just marginally better than fellow centre-fielder, Colby Rasmus. Additionally, as Gregg Zaun has pointed out so many times over the year, the California native is a poor bunter, succeeding on just over half of his attempts, whether they be sacrifices or not. The league average is 77 per cent.

In 2014, Gose stole 15 bases on 20 attempts. Some quick elementary-school math tells me that’s a 75 per cent success rate. Not awful, but nothing special either. Using the Ultimate Base Running statistic, which accounts for the value a player adds to their team with their base running, Gose’s score is a 1.5, indicating he is above average in this department. This stat does not factor in pickoffs and times a player is caught stealing. In that regard, the 24-year-old is only average.

Jun 23, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Gose (8) makes a running catch against the wall in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Yankees 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Defence is where the former second-round pick thrives. He can play all over the outfield, has exceptional range, and a very strong arm. This past season, he posted a .995 fielding percentage and a very solid Ultimate Zone Rating of 9.2 (if you are unfamiliar with this stat, click here).

At this stage in his career, what you see is what you get with Gose. You know he’s going to play exceptional defence, his speed can change the outcome of a game, and his hitting is suspect to say the least.

Next Year’s Contract Status: $500,000

With Colby Rasmus’ impending departure, Gose could very well be Toronto’s starting centre-fielder in 2015. If that’s the case, Jays fans will likely have to get comfortable with a platoon situation with Kevin Pillar starting against left-handed pitching and Gose against righties. Dalton Pompey is another in-house option, but it is more probable the Mississauga native starts the season in the minors.

Centre field is shaping up to be an offensive liability moving forward if a trade is not made. The potential free agents available at the position are underwhelming, with Emilio Bonifacio headlining the list. Remember how that worked out last time?