While the Phillies ponder whether it's time to get younger, the would-have-been stars of tomorrow (maybe) are sharpening their tools in the Arizona Fall League, including rising prospect Anthony Gose.
Gose, 21, was included in the 2010 Roy Oswalt trade with Houston and was immediately flipped to Toronto, who had pursued the slashing outfielder heavily during the Roy Halladay talks. After a breakout season with double-A New Hampshire, in which he hit .253/.349/.415 with 16 homers and 70 stolen bases, Gose has kept up the pace in Arizona, where he's 17-for-57 (.298) with three homers, three triples and four doubles. According to ESPN's Keith Law, the Jays have worked to polish Gose's game, developing "more consistent, simpler swing mechanics." Gose fanned 154 times in his first full season at double-A, which isn't a major red flag given his age. To put it in perspective, Michael Bourn, a lefty batter with similar tools, struck out 123 times, had a worse season overall and was a year older when he made his Eastern League debut.
Once the scouting magazine prospect rankings are released, it will be interesting to see how high Gose climbs and where he sits alongside another breakout ex-Phillie: Travis d'Arnaud, who hit .311/.371/.542 with 21 homers for New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, outfielder Tyson Gillies, the Phillies' farm equivalent to Gose, is 7-for-30 in the AFL so far as he tries to recover from the hamstring and foot issues that kept him off the field all of last season. He joins infielders Darin Ruf and Cody Overbeck, right-handers Colby Shreve, BJ Rosenberg, Tyler Cloyd and left-hander Jake Diekman, who are all staying sharp with the Scottsdale Scorpions. Former prospect Josh Zeid, who was included in the Hunter Pence trade, is pitching for the Salt River squad.