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Tuffy Gosewisch

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James Benjamin Gosewisch

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[edit] Biographical Information

Tuffy Gosewisch made his major league debut in 2013. His brother, Chip Gosewisch, also played in the minors.

[edit] Amateur Career

Tuffy hit .375 as a high school freshman, .400 as a sophomore, .410 as a junior and .430 as a senior (winning All-State honors the last year). As a college freshman, he started on Opening Day at a strong ASU program, but went only 5 for 39 with 4 walks and no extra-base hits. He also allowed 19 steals in 21 tries. He was much better as a sophomore, batting .340/.442/.444, making no errors and throwing out 11 of 36 attempted base-stealers. Gosewisch produced at a .342/.439/.452 rate with 49 RBI in 59 games as a junior The only ASU players to post higher averages were Dustin Pedroia, Travis Buck and Josh Asanovich. He hit .289 for the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaskan Summer League and played in the National Baseball Congress World Series.

In 2005, the senior batted .321/.411/.476 with 74 RBI in 67 games, while fielding .996 and throwing out 39.1% of base-stealers. He started every single game at catcher. He was again 4th on the club in average, behind Travis Buck, Colin Curtis and Jeff Larish. He was second in the Pac-10 Conference in RBI, six behind Jordan Brown. He appeared in the 2005 College World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies took Gosewisch in the 11th round of the 2005 amateur draft; the scout was Therron Brockish. The Phillies' 10th and 12th round picks would wind up in the majors (Josh Outman and Mike Zagurski respectively).

[edit] Professional Career

Assigned initially to the Batavia Muckdogs, he went 10 for 38 with a double and two walks in the summer of 2005, backing up Lou Marson. In '06, he hit .251/.318/.387 for the Clearwater Threshers while throwing out 41% of attempted base-stealers, though he did have 16 passed balls. With Marson moving up to Clearwater in 2007, Gosewisch was dropped down to the Lakewood BlueClaws. He hit only .224/.296/.352 while starting ahead of Joel Naughton (who, like Gosewisch, would play in the 2011 Baseball World Cup). He dud lead South Atlantic League catchers in putouts (667), assists (87) and double plays (11). He played for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League as well.

In 2008, the Illinois native returned to Clearwater and batted just .218/.292/.309. He paced Florida State League backstops with 722 putouts and 66 assists. He was 7 for 25 for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. He started 2009 with the Reading Phillies and hit .244/.314/.341 in 60 games before a left hand fracture sidelined him for a month. When he returned to action, it was with the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He batted just .200/.228/.255 for them. Baseball America named him the best defensive catcher in the Eastern League that year (he had 3 passed balls in 60 games and threw out 37% of attempted base-stealers.

Tuffy's batting line was .241/.353/.405 for Reading in 2010 - his splits were dramatic, hitting .308 with 6 HR in 146 AB at home and .182 with 3 HR in 165 AB on the road. He only had 2 errors and 2 passed balls in 94 games, fielding .997. Back with Reading the next year, his production fell a bit to .247/.295/.404. He fielded .994 and allowed 82 steals in 122 tries.

Gosewisch was picked as a catcher for Team USA in the fall of 2011. In the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he initially backed up Travis d'Arnaud, a fellow 2011 Eastern Leaguer (though d'Arnaud was the MVP and All-Star catcher) as well as a former fellow Phillies farmhand. When d'Arnaud was injured in a game against Canada, Gosewisch became the only healthy US catcher. He did not have an impressive tournament, going 5 for 23 with 2 doubles, no walks, no runs and 2 RBI in 8 games for the co-Bronze Medalists (the Bronze Medal game against Canada was rained out). He allowed 4 steals in 5 tries and had no errors or passed balls. For the 2011 Pan American Games, the US added James McCann as a secondary catcher to replace d'Arnaud. As the starter, Tuffy went 5 for 20 with 2 doubles, a homer, walk and 7 RBI in five solid games. In the Gold Medal game against Canada, he was 0 for 3. He came to bat in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-1 deficit, two outs and two runners in scoring position. Facing Scott Richmond, he flew out to RF Jamie Romak. The US wound up losing, 2-1.

In 2012, Gosewisch started the season with the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs, where he hit only .192 in 65 games. he was let go by the Phillies and ended up in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, with the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League. He hit .277 in 24 games in the desert for a combined batting line of .216/.278/.245 in 296 at-bats. He changed organizations again after the season, signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2013. Assigned to the Reno Aces, he hit better than he ever had anywhere, posting a .285 average with 6 homers and 30 RBI in his first 66 games. On August 1st, he got the call to the Show, replacing D-Backs starting catcher Miguel Montero who was placed on the disabled list with a sore back. he started that day against the Texas Rangers, batting 9th, and went 1 for 3 in a 7-1 loss; his first big league hit was a single off reliever Neal Cotts in the 8th, after earlier popping up and striking out against Yu Darvish.

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