by Amy Moritz
Infront of a Buffalo Bisons logo backdrop, Anthony Gose was at the center of a scrum of reporters from Buffalo and Toronto just 77 days away from Opening Day at Coca-Cola Field. The outfielder was taken a bit back by the setting.
"I feel like I just signed a big contract or something. Or like I'm Alex," Gose joked, referring to Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "Do I get to play GM now?"
"Well, if you played GM, you wouldn't be in Buffalo in April," one of the reporters said.
Gose laughed. "Oh. Good point."
Gose will likely be starting for the Bisons on April 4 as the 22-year-old outfielder looks to improve his offense to work his way into a permament position with the Blue Jays.
Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and came to the Toronto organization in a trade in 2010. In a full season at Double-A New Hampshire in 2011, he hit .253 with 70 stolen bases. Last year he played with Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .286. He had two stints with the Blue Jays, going up in July and then again in September. In 56 games with the big club he batted .223, numbers which put him back in Triple A, this time in Buffalo, to start the new season.
"My time will come. Hopefully sooner than later," Gose said. "The front office and Alex and the staff feel I needed more time and I didn’t exactly light up the world in the big leagues last year. Here’s a chance for me to go back down to Triple A and get better and hopefully put up some pretty good numbers and prove my way back to the big leagues."
So what does he need to do to make the jump from Triple A to MLB stick?
"Hit the ball. Simple as that," Gose said. "If I hit the ball I can play in the big leagues with anybody. I can always get better on defense. I can always get better on the bases and things like that, but when it all comes down to it, people make a spot for you when you hit the ball. If I hit the ball, I’ll get a spot."
"The last part of his game that needs to develop is really the bat," Anthopoulos said. "But he continues to get better. That’s an area he’s going to continue to work on [in Buffalo]. ... He plays with a great confidence but you see how down to earth he is. He wins community awards all through the minor leagues. He’s going to be a fan favoarte no doubt about it."
(Photo from globeandmail.com)