Talking with Toronto Blue Jays outfield prospect Anthony Gose at the 2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game
I had an opportunity to speak with Toronto Blue Jays outfield prospect Anthony Gose on Sunday afternoon. They were about to close the clubhouse down, so we only had time for a few questions.
You are very young for Triple-A, compared to most of the players at that level. What is the greatest challenge that the pitchers there present you?
Gose: "The pitchers pick you apart at will. Most of them have the ability to throw the ball where they want. Everybody makes mistakes, but these guys they don't make as many as the pitchers at Double-A or lower levels. The ability to throw strikes where they want at any point is the biggest challenge for me. They can pick a zone and really go after that spot, work you over, with a pitch in that spot."
Does playing in Las Vegas present any particular challenge for you? It's a great place to hit and the ball can jump off the bat there. Can that be misleading?
Gose: "My take on it is that the air is thinner and if you hit it in the air it will go farther, but the pitchers still make their pitches and the fielders still field the ball. You still have to hit it hard. Guys who hit home runs in the league, they hit home runs their whole career. So I don't buy totally into the whole hitter's league thing. Guys throw 95, they have cutters, sliders, curveballs, all those things are still there, you still have to hit the pitches for the ball to go far."
Pitchers still change speeds like at any level.
Gose: "Right. The Triple-A pitchers are really good and they are really good at making adjustments. Just because the ball flies, doesn't mean guys just start hitting who can't hit. The guys who hit home runs still hit home runs. Take Oklahoma City, Hessman, Mike Hessman, he's hit, what, 20 home runs already?"
Something like that. (Note: Hessman has hit 27 homers)
Gose: "Yeah. Have you seen that guy? He's huge, a big strong guy. He's going to hit the ball out of any yard. It's not like a 5-foot-1 guy is going to hit 30 home runs (laughs). If that happened, you'd think, what's going on here? But the guys who hit well have always hit, so I don't completely buy the hitters league stuff. You still have to know what you're doing."
Are you happy with your outfield defense? That's something you've always been good at.
Gose: "Yeah, I take pride in my defense, that's always been a big strength for me. So I'm really happy with that. I've worked hard at my defense. I also worked a lot on my hitting in the off-season. I know I failed early and I've failed lately, but I feel really good about what I've done with the hitting and the adjustments I've made." (Gose hit just .216/.298/.284 in April, but was been much more effective in May (.364/.431/.554) and June (.283/.382/.407). He's tailed off a bit in July, hitting .269/.321/.423 this month.
Do you feel like you learn more from your failures than your successes?
Gose: "Oh, yeah, definitely. It's one thing when you're riding high, but when you're failing, you have to figure out a way out of it, and that's when you learn what you're really about."