LAKELAND, Fla. -- Detroit Tigers outfielder Anthony Gose is not a fan of analytics, and he is not shy about letting people know.
The 25-year-old center fielder delivered a pointed rant against the movement when asked about his poor defensive metrics on Friday morning. Gose ranked dead last on the Tigers with -10.4 UZR (ultimate zone rating) and -12 DRS (defensive runs saved) in 2015 and was among the lowest in the league among these metrics as well, according to FanGraphs.com.
"I could care less," Gose said. "I think that whole analytics thing is a big scam anyways."
Gose is not alone in feeling that his abilities in center are not accurately reflected by the numbers. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus has consistently come to Gose's defense, reiterating that the metrics do not seem to match up with what the coaching staff has seen from the outfielder.
"I do think there's some subjectivity to defensive analytics that do make them not as hard and fast as offensive numbers,” said Ausmus. "I don't think anybody is trying to scam anybody with defensive metrics. I just think they're a little more subjective and therefore a little less accurate."
Gose conceded that the way he plays the position might have an impact on his numbers.
"I play shallow. I know that," Gose said. "So I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I feel I'm one of the better ones in the game. So to not be rated very high, I just think it's a big scam."
And what does he mean, exactly, by a "big scam"?
"It's a way to make money," Gose surmised.
To be fair, Gose does not find all facets of analytics worthless. He finds scouting reports and information provided before games helpful. The player evaluation part of the process is what draws his ire.
"I think the scouting reports are based on what the guy has done, not projecting you. I don't know how they do [that part]," Gose said. "But [when] a scouting report says a guy is hitting the ball here, it's because it's shown by watching his at-bats: this guy hits the ball here."
Gose finds it confounding not only because of his own shabby defensive numbers, but those of his teammates as well, particularly that of shortstop Jose Iglesias.
"How can you say that Iglesias isn't one of the best shortstops in the game?" Gose asked. "Are these guys watching the same guy we're watching?"
Iglesias, 26, who is considered among the league’s talented crop of young shortstops, has a 2.3 UZR and a -3 in DRS in 2015, according to FanGraphs.com.
By comparison, former center fielder Yoenis Cespedes led the Tigers with both a 15 UZR and finished second to Ian Kinsler (19) with 11 DRS, last season before he was dealt to the New York Mets at the trade deadline.
One thing is for sure: Gose is poised to get a prime opportunity to prove the metrics wrong, especially following the recent injury to fellow center fielder Cameron Maybin.
Maybin, who was hit by a pitch in Wednesday's 10-9 loss to the New York Yankees, underwent a CT scan, which revealed a non-displaced hairline fracture in his left wrist.
The former first-round draft pick, who was re-acquired by the Tigers in a trade this offseason, is expected to miss four to six weeks. Maybin was expected to platoon with Gose at center this season.
And while Gose sounded confident in his defensive abilities, he was slightly more self-deprecating about his offensive contributions, even after a strong start to spring training.
"I did the same thing last year and look what happened to my season," said Gose, who batted .254 last season.
Gose said he felt that teams had not seen much of him heading into 2015, which allowed him to take advantage of his opportunities at the plate. That didn't last long, once teams started to study his tendencies and pitch him differently, he insisted.
"I got away with things early in the season," Gose said. "Down the stretch, they made adjustments."