Phillies Prospect #71: Tuffy Gosewisch

The Phillies have depth behind the plate, but not all of the prospects are strong offensive prospects. Tuffy Gosewisch is one of the catching prospects who is definitely a defensive minded catcher.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 11th round of the 2005 Draft.

B: R  T: R  Height:  5' 11"  /  Weight: 190

2007 Team/League: Lakewood (South Atlantic League)

Positions Played in 2007:   C (90 G)

School: Arizona State

Batting and Power:  Gosewisch showed decent offensive ability in college, especially in tight situations, hitting an astounding .526 (20ofor-38) with the bases loaded. Since coming to the pro ranks, Gosewisch has come nowhere close to putting up impressive offensive numbers, managing to hit just .238 over his first three seasons. After improving on his first season numbers when he made a big jump to High-A Clearwater in his second season, Gosewisch regressed last summer, slipping to .224 - his lowest season average as a pro - when he was pushed back a step to Low-A Lakewood. As for power, the Phillies never truly expected Gosewisch to provide much of a power bat and he hasn't. "I'm going to really focus on hitting this off-season," Gosewisch said. "I want to become a good hitter and learn the intricacies a little bit more this off-season before I go back to spring training."

Baserunning and Speed: Not only is Gosewisch not blessed with speed, he's somewhat clumsy on the basepaths. He knows enough not to try to steal too many bases and has attempted just four thefts in three seasons, succeeding just once.

Defense: When it comes to looking for catchers, the Phillies look first for defense and leadership and worry later about offense. Gosewisch fits the bill perfectly and has developed a good reputation for working with pitchers and being able to handle himself well behind the plate. His arm is pretty good and generally accurate and he combines that with good footwork and solid mechanics to throw out would-be base stealers. As his name would imply, he's tough enough to put himself in front of balls in the dirt and keep them from getting away and has posted a .991 fielding percentage over his first three seasons.

Projection: It's likely that at best, Gosewisch could hope to be a Major League backup behind the plate. His defensive skills will go a long way toward helping him to get a shot at playing in the majors, but his offensive skills are weak enough that they'll be a hindrance to him advancing to being a starter in the majors and it's likely that he'll move too quickly through the system, likely moving a step per season. Pat Murphy, who coached Gosewisch at ASU likely said it best; "He's like the offensive lineman who doesn't get a lot of recognition, but you know how valuable he is for your team."

Comparison: Because of his small build, Gosewisch has drawn physical comparisons to Mike Lieberthal, but without the offense. He's likely going to be a better defensive catcher than Lieberthal and will possess the same type of game-calling skills and the same type of skills. Ultimately, he won't have the same kind of career that Lieberthal did, because his lack of offense won't alow him to get the full-time status that Lieberthal enjoyed.

Tuffy Gosewisch's career stats

2005 Batavia MuckDogs 21 9 29 2 7 0 0 0 3 0 2 3 .241 .290 .241
2006 Clearwater Threshers 22 95 305 32 76 14 0 9 38 1 24 55 .249 .315 .384
2007 Lakewood BlueClaws 23 92 339 52 76 24 2 5 45 0 29 69 .224 .296 .351
Minor League Totals - 3 Season(s) 196 673 86 159 38 2 14 86 1 55 127 .236 .304 .361


Stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube.

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