Detroit Tigers: Anthony Gose Finding His Voice

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Sep 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose (12) walks back to the dugout waiting for the right field light to come back on prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose (12) walks back to the dugout waiting for the right field light to come back on prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Anthony Gose was a quiet presence in the Detroit Tigers outfield. Until now.

Aug 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose (12) dives to make a catch during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose (12) dives to make a catch during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

As the rumors swirl about who will replace the injured Cameron Maybin, the Detroit Tigers already have a built in replacement in Anthony Gose. While he technically was part of a platoon with Rajai Davis, he played in 140 games in 2015. At this point in his career, he can certainly cover the field while Maybin is recovering and rehabing.

It has been easy to overlook Gose. He’s not a big talker and he hasn’t been much of a presence on the plate. He showed that he had trouble hitting left-handed pitchers, which is often the case with left-handed batters. Still, his bat was not missing in 2015. He hit .254/.321/.367. He’s not the best hitter on the team, but the 25-year-old had some shining moments.

On a team loaded with All-Stars and media darlings like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Victor Martinez, it is easy to get lost on the team. Lately, Gose has been making a name for himself both on and off the field.

Earlier this week in live batting practice, Gose’s sense of humor shined when he hit a home run off of teammate Verlander. Prior to the home run, JV accidentally hit Gose and apologized. On his next at-bat against JV, Gose homered and returned the apology.  The exchange made for some social media posts:

A few days after showing off his power against Verlander, Gose shared his opinions about metrics in baseball. This stirred a little controversy as he claimed that he is much better than metrics show him to be. He also commented on how metrics do not respect Jose Iglesias: “How can you say that Iglesias isn’t one of the best shortstops in the game?Are these guys watching the same guy we’re watching?”

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Brad Ausmus supported his center fielder by questioning the accuracy of the defensive numbers that Gose criticized: “I do think there’s some subjectivity to defensive analytics that do make them not as hard and fast as offensive numbers…I just think they’re a little more subjective and therefore a little less accurate.”

In today’s game against New York Yankee, he was hit by a pitch and when 0-1. His current batting average in the spring training games is .427 with an OPS of 1.127. Of course, it is early and his average will “average out” (no pun intended). Prior to today’s game, he was 3-6 hitting a double and a single off of left-handed pitchers, who are normally his Achilles’ heel.

Next: Victor Martinez Delivers in Exhibition Games

It is clear that Gose is a player who could be a quiet contender for the break-out player title. He can field, his has a great arm (he used to pitch and throw a +90 mph fastball), and it looks like he’s been working on hitting those left-handed pitchers. He’s also durable – Gose was hit by a pitch in today’s game and came back for more. The Tigers will be watching him closely, maybe we fans should, too.

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