I assumed either Eric Thames or Travis Snider would come up to help replace the injured Jose Bautista in right field in Toronto, but it appears the Blue Jays have other plans.
Anthony Gose, one of the fastest players in the minors, was pulled out of the game for Triple-A Las Vegas tonight, indicating that he could be called up Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Gose is hitting .293/.376/.434 with five homers and 29 steals for Las Vegas this season. That is one of the top environments for offense in the minors, but oddly enough, most of Gose’s production has come on the road; he’s hitting .323/.399/.469 in away games this season.
Gose is the best defensive outfielder in the Jays organization, which will make for an interesting decision for Toronto. Do they temporarily shift Colby Rasmus to right, even though he’s playing well at the moment? Or do they put Gose there, even though he’s the better defender and his entire career in right field amounts to six appearances in 2008-09? Given that Rasmus has a history of dealing with adversity poorly, Gose to right seems like the better move to me.
Frankly, I still think Snider or Thames makes more sense. Gose is an intriguing talent, but he strikes out an awful lot for a guy with middling power (93 times in 92 games this season). He’s still pretty raw, and since the Jays don’t need him as a center fielder, I think it’d be best to leave him in Triple-A until September.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.