Scouts representing six different major league organizations gathered Monday at the indoor facility of West Coast Sports management in Pasadena, Calif. to observe a throwing session featuring Anthony Gose, the rocket armed lefthanded pitching and outfield prospect from Bellflower (Calif.) High.
Sidelined for most of the season with shoulder tendonitis, Gose was eager to show scouts that he is now perfectly fit, and, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of his demise are greatly exagerrated.
For moral support, Gose brought along his best friend, Aaron Hicks, a probable first-round pick. WCSM’s indoor setup is too small to contain Gose’s arm, so the workout was held at an aged but spacious public park nearby.
In a scene that can be described as somewhat surrealistic, Gose, Hicks and seven scouts traipsed two blocks north up Fair Oaks Avenue. Once the mob reached the park, Gose and his receiver began a game of catch. Only 30 feet away, a homeless man lying on the unmowed grass slept soundly, blissfully unaware that two soon to be millionaires were nearby. The prone man was motionless for several minutes, and I almost reached for my cell phone to call the coroner until our friend rolled over on his side, eliminating concerns over his expiration. He slept throught he entire workout.
The scouts, however, paid rapt attention. Gose threw easily at both short and extended distances, comfortably displaying the terrific arm strength that makes him perhaps the hardest throwing lefthander available in Thursday’s draft.
Suitably convinced that one lefthander is healthy, local scouts will turn their attention to another portsider, John Lamb of Laguna Hills High. The silky smooth-throwing Lamb was injured in a car accident several months ago and missed his entire prep season. He is scheduled to throw a series of bullpen sessions later this week.