Dave Ross Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

So, who is this guy? Ross is a Georgia native, from Bainbridge, who went to high school in Tallahassee and went to college at both Auburn and Florida. (Freak.) He never did anything at Auburn (he was there for Tim Hudson’s last year, and may have caught him) but had a big year in Gainesville, and the Dodgers drafted him in the seventh round in 1998. He sort of meandered up the chain, not doing anything to draw attention to himself either way, until he put up typically inflated numbers at Las Vegas in 2002, getting himself a callup to the big club.

Ross hit ten homers as Lo Duca’s backup in 2003, easily outperforming the Dodgers’ “all-star”. But he went Corky in 2004, hitting .170/.253/.291, and before the 2005 season was sold — not traded, sold — to the Pirates. Ross played 2005 for the Pirates and Padres, then was traded to the Reds before the 2006 season. He had a career year, hitting .255/.353/.579 with 21 homers in 247 AB. The Reds, being the Reds, signed him to a two-year deal for $4.54 million and made him the regular. He hit 17 homers in 2007 but also hit .202, and was released in midseason of 2008. The Red Sox, desperate for anything resembling a catcher, signed him, but he went 1-8 in limited duty.

Ross’ career batting average is .222. Batting average is overrated, but you simply aren’t going to be productive hitting .222, not in today’s game. He does have power, and he will take a walk, and if he hits .250 he’s a very valuable reserve player whom you could play regularly if you’re not too particular. On the other hand, I could have said some of the same things about Corky Miller, who played for some of the same teams (the Reds, the Red Sox) and look what happened there… I’m sure that Ross has a good defensive reputation. Catchers who hit .222 always do. He does have a pretty good arm, or at least has thrown out 38 percent of basestealers (87 of 228) and threw out 42 percent the two years he was a semi-regular for Cincinnati. Has three career triples, no career stolen bases, rarely grounds into a double play, looks to be a good bunter. Basically, there’s evidence that he’s a good “little things” player, and real power, but that .222 is a great big bad thing.

The Braves at some point in the nineties apparently decided that the one thing that they don’t want in a backup catcher is a half-decent batting average. Career batting averages for Braves catchers, min. 50 PA, since the strike:

1 Brian McCann .297 1821
2 Johnny Estrada .291 939
3 Javier Lopez .289 4032
4 Jarrod Saltalamacchia .284 153
5 Eddie Perez .251 1151
6 Charlie O’Brien .227 233
7 Brayan Pena .221 116
8 Greg Myers .210 96
9 Todd Pratt .207 152
10 Paul Bako .205 220
11 Henry Blanco .202 415
12 Fernando Lunar .185 60
13 Clint Sammons .175 62
14 Corky Miller .138 96

Ross will fit right in.