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EL notes: Cats' Gose makes strides
Center fielder leads league in steals in first taste of Double-A
06/07/2011 10:00 AM ET
Anthony Gose is first in the Eastern League with 27 stolen bases.
Anthony Gose is first in the Eastern League with 27 stolen bases. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)
Anthony Gose didn't waste time joining his new team last July. The speedy center fielder was playing in the Phillies system for Clearwater when he learned he had been traded to the Astros, who promptly sent him to the Toronto organization.

A second-round pick in the 2008 Draft, Gose was in Jupiter that day when he learned the news. So he drove northwest to Dunedin and was in the dugout that night for the Blue Jays' affiliate in the Florida State League.

"You hear speculation [about a trade]," said Gose, now with Double-A New Hampshire at the age of 20. "I had an idea in my head, so I was a little more prepared for a trade."

Of course, it can be unsettling when a Minor Leaguer is traded for the first time, but on the flip side, that player knows there's another organization that feels strongly about his potential, and that was the case for Gose.

"I got the sense they really liked me as a player," Gose said of the Blue Jays, who promoted him to the Fisher Cats to open the season.

Gose has spent a lot of time with New Hampshire hitting coach Justin Mashore since joining the organization and said he could fill "three pages" of notes detailing the changes they've made, including adjustments to his stance and pitch selection.

"He's been doing great," said manager Sal Fasano. "He's learning to compete at this level. I'm happy with the progress he has made. Defensively, he was already a good outfielder."

Fasano said the biggest strides Gose has made this season are his base running and approach at the plate.

After a slow start, he was hitting .272 with four homers and 22 RBIs in late May before a 1-for-15 skid dropped his average to .255. He has a league-high 27 steals in 32 tries, to go along with five doubles, three triples, five homers and 28 RBIs.

Gose was moved to the third spot in the Fisher Cats' lineup May 11 after hitting in the leadoff spot early on.

"He's made a lot of adjustments," said Fasano, a big league catcher from 1996 to 2008. "He has a great future."

Listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Gose began playing organized baseball when he was 5, and he also played football and ran track in high school.

"I was too small for football, and I don't have world-class speed, so I knew baseball was my ticket," said Gose.

He began his pro career in the Gulf Coast League and hit .256 in 11 games. Gose moved up to Lakewood in the South Atlantic League in 2009 and hit .259 with 24 doubles, nine triples, two homers and 52 RBIs in 510 at-bats, stealing 76 bases in 96 tries.

Last year, he batter .263 with four homers, 21 RBIs and 36 steals in 63 tries with Clearwater, then hit .255 with three homers, six RBIs and nine steals for Dunedin.

In brief

Battle of the best: In a match-up of red-hot teams, division leaders New Hampshire and Harrisburg met for a three-game series from May 31 to June 2 at Metro Bank Park. The visiting Fisher Cats entered the series with seven wins in a row, but it was the Senators who extended their winning streak to nine straight with a 4-2 victory in the first contest. Harrisburg followed that up with a 10-8 win in game two, before the Fisher Cats snapped the Sens' 10-game winning streak with a 10-5 win Thursday.

Pitchers' duel: Harrisburg's Brad Peacock allowed one run on two hits in seven innings in the series opener against New Hampshire on May 31, though he did not factor in the decision. He improved his league lead in strikeouts to 82 in 62 innings. He was opposed by fellow right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who was making his third start at the Double-A level. Alvarez lowered his ERA to 1.50 after allowing one run in six innings, while Peacock's ERA fell to 2.03.

Big league watch: Orioles' first baseman Derrek Lee had two hits Friday for host Bowie in a one-game rehab stint against New Britain. "I didn't feel any pain or anything," Lee told reporters. "My legs felt good, so it was a good day. I enjoy seeing these guys who are fighting their way up this level. It was fun tonight." He was activated by the Orioles the next day and collected two hits in Saturday's game at Camden Yards. The 35-year-old first baseman had been on the DL with an oblique strain.

David Driver is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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