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Echoes from 527: Anthony Gose

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When Alex Anthopoulos traded Roy Halladay to the Phillies following the 2009 season, the Blue Jays received a trio of young, talented players that were sought out to become the core of a dominant Toronto team in the years to come.

Headlining the trade was Kyle Drabek, selected in the 1st round (18th overall) by Philadelphia in 2005. It wasn’t long before the young pitcher was making noise in Toronto’s Minor League system having thrown a no hitter while with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2010. His success in the Eastern League quickly earned the then 22 year old a trip to the Majors making is debut with Toronto as a September call up, straight from AA.

Unfortunately a string of inconsistent starts and problems with his mechanic’s have lead to a career record of  8-15 before re-injuring his elbow and landing on the Tommy John list earlier this season. We won’t see Drabek pitch again until 2013.

#2 on the depth chart in the Halladay deal (from a Blue Jays standpoint) is former Pepperdine Catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Toronto’s catching prospect help lead the charge as New Hampshire captured the 2011 Eastern League championship en route to becoming the leagues MVP, hitting a modest .311 with a total of 21 Big Flies for the club in 114 games.

2012 saw the former 1st round draftee make his debut at the AAA level picking up right where he left off in ’11. Through 67 games with Las Vegas, d’Arnaud hit .333 with a staggering .380 OBP to go with 16 Home Runs and a collective 39 Extra Base hits. As luck would have it, d’Arnaud would suffer a Torn Cruciate Ligament in his Knee sliding into 2nd Base effectively shutting him down for the rest of the season. Like Drabek, we wont see d’Arnaud again until 2013.

The final player the Blue Jays acquired in the deal came in the form of  Michael Taylor. Taylor, a right handed outfielder, was then was flipped to Oakland for 1st baseman Brett Wallace following the trade. Wallace was groomed to take over for Lyle Overbay before his departure however a deal became available for a young Houston prospect named Anthony Gose and Wallace was sent packing.

Anthopoulos had his eye on Gose when he was still in the Phillies organization, stealing 72 bases in a single season with the Clearwater Threshers while under the tutelage of former Blue Jay great Ernie Whitt. Unfortunately, before a deal could be made shipping Halladay to the “city of brotherly love”, the Phils packaged Gose in a deal that brought Roy Oswalt to town via Houston and Alex had to start over.

Having gotten his man, Anthopoulos then sent Gose into the Blue Jays system, playing  just down the road from Clearwater in Dunedin. Over the next 2 seasons, Gose would end up swiping 79 bases in a Blue Jay uniform while continuing to improve on his overall game.

Gose would go on to play for AAA Vegas in 2012 collecting a .292/.375/.432 Slash Line prior to his call up. One aspect of his game that has improved greatly in the past season is his power numbers. Although his Home Run totals are down, his Doubles and Triples are up as the 21 year old has now hit 33 Extra Base Hits in 2012. Compare this to his total of 43 in 2011… Read what you will in to the PCL factors.

Although his strikeout totals are alarming, his defense and ever improving Batting Average vs Right Handed pitching have earned him this brief stint with the MLB club, filling in for the injured Jose Bautista.

By no means is Gose finished with his Minor League development however at the time of the call up, he seemed to be the best fit having been on a tear of late. With the next couple of weeks proving to be pivotal for the Blue Jays 2012 season, AA was forced to go with whoever he deemed fit to make the biggest impact with the club. Gose, again, was his man for the job.

Anthony Gose represents the last man standing (as far as 2012 is concerned) in regards to the Roy Halladay trade. Let’s hope things can pan out from here.

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