He turns singles into doubles. He scores runs. He drives them in. He runs out bunt singles. And when he crashes into the outfield wall to try and stymie a home run and breaks the fence open, well, he gets his teammates to hoist him to the top of the wall so he can fix the gate.
Yes, Anthony Gose is just your typical full-service center fielder.
There was plenty of preseason hype for Gose, and he lived up to the expectations in his first game with the Buffalo Bisons.
The 22-year-old went 3 for 4 with an RBI and three runs scored as the Herd took Opening Day, 12-7, over the Rochester Red Wings.
The impressive outing kicked off in his first at-bat in the first inning. He had a solid hit to left center field. And while everyone was marking down a single on their scorecards and the Rochester outfield was getting the ball back to the infield, Gose kept running. He slid into second base, safe, and proceeded to score the Herd’s first run of the game on a single by Luis Jimenez.
Gose, however, joked about it after the game.
“I was actually going to be out by about 30 feet so I don’t know if it was a good thing what I did,” Gose said. “I don’t know if it was exactly the smartest move by me. It worked out but it wouldn’t have been looking too good. You guys would have been asking me the opposite question if this didn’t go my way.
“I thought [centerfielder Clete Thomas] was going to lob it in. I didn’t know he was going to come up and, you know, throw a bullet to second base. Good thing the second baseman couldn’t see it coming in.”
Then came the defensive play in the eighth inning. Chris Colabello led off the inning for Rochester with a wind-assisted shot to deep left center field. Gose went back to try and make the play, but crashed into the fence.
The fence popped open and before any grounds staff could get back there to fix it, Gose had his fellow outfielders, Moises Sierra and Ryan Langerhans, lift him up so he could relock the gate.
“I had thought I was going to catch the ball and there was a pad there,” said Gose, displaying his sense of humor.
“I told him the fence has been out there a long time. Did he not know it was there?” manager Marty Brown said. “That’s just him. He’s not reckless; he’s going to make some plays that you people are going to scratch your head and go ‘How did he get there?’ I saw it all last year. . . . That’s the one thing he’s got over Grady. He’s just got a plus-plus arm and accurate.”
Brown made several comparisons to Grady Sizemore, the former All-Star outfielder with the Cleveland Indians. Brown managed Sizemore in Buffalo in 2004 when the Bisons won the Governors’ Cup.
“I love Grady,” Brown said. “Grady was a manager’s dream. This guy is better than Grady. So I guess that’s a reference if you want to make it. Nothing against Grady but this kid he’s the real deal.
Gose is “an all-in type guy where he’s here. He realizes he’s here. He’s going to take care of being here until he goes to Toronto. I’m very proud of the way he’s pushed himself.”
Gose made his Major League debut with Toronto, playing 56 games for the Blue Jays last year. He hit .223 with 11 runs batted in and 15 stole bases. He played 102 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .286 with 21 doubles, 10 triples, 43 runs batted in and 34 stolen bases.
For all his speed, aggressiveness and potential, Gose will likely have to bide some more time in Triple-A. The Blue Jays have a set, veteran lineup with no room at the moment for a young, albeit talented, young prospect.