2012 Red Sox Player Preview: Cody Ross

Cody Ross comes to the Sox from San Fransisco

Cody Ross signed with the Red Sox back in January to come in and play some right field for us.  Ross is the former NLCS MVP for the San Fransisco Giants.  He wasn’t the most sexy signing but he’s a solid player and pretty much the polar opposite of an acquisition than was his predecessor, J.D. Drew.  With early injuries to Carl Crawford and also fellow new acquisition Ryan Sweeney it looks like Cody Ross will get a ton of playing time, especially right out of the gate.

Here’s a look at Ross’ 2011 season (career highs in parentheses):

Games: 121 (153, 2010)
Average: .240 (.335, 2007)
On-Base Percentage: .325 (.411, 2007)
Slugging Percentage: .405 (.653, 2007)
On Base plus Slugging (OPS): .730 (1.064, 2007)
Home Runs: 14 (24, 2009)
Runs Batted In: 52 (90, 2009)
Runs: 54 (73, 2009)
Doubles: 25 (37, 2009)
Walks: 49 (49, 2011)

2012 Season Outlook:

Ross had a down season last year but he injured his calf in spring training and missed the beginning of last season.  He never got into a groove after the injury as he was relegated to being a part time player.  He will split a lot of time with Ryan Sweeney in the outfield this season but should start the season playing every day due to an injury to Carl Crawford.  Ross is a right handed hitter that should fit pretty well at the bottom of the order.  He will have more lineup protection than he’s ever had in his career and should see plenty of pitches to make contact with with guys like Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia coming back around behind him at the top of the order.

Ross will bring versatility to the Sox lineup

Ross had 49 walks last year, which was a career high.  Look for the Red Sox to try and get him to show more of that this year and hitting coach Dave Magadan will no doubt be preaching a patient approach to Ross and some of the other newcomers.  Ross has had decent power numbers in the past and like any strong right handed batter with a good enough bat expect him to take advantage of the Green Monster.  He is the type of guy who can take advantage of the time he gets early on and work himself into a more full-time role in the lineup.  The Red Sox big weakness offensively last year was having a lineup that was too “left-handed” and having Ross in there more often than not would bring more versatility in the lineup and Bobby Valentine could try and maneuver the lineup to make it harder to play the right/left/right game that managers like Joe Maddon love to do with their bullpen.

Ross is solid if unspectacular in the outfield but his value is in his versatility.  He will likely be the primary back-up to Ellsbury in center field.  He can play all three outfield positions which will allow him to pick up more at-bats.  Obviously when he is in the outfield with Crawford and Ellsbury there will be plenty of speed to support him.  Ross might not be as good of a defender as J.D. Drew, who was incredibly underrated as a defensive player, but he won’t kill the Sox out there either.  He’ll certainly be an upgrade over Josh Reddick who was a train wreck in the field.

Ross is a far cry from his predecessor J.D. Drew

As I said a bit earlier Ross will be basically be replacing J.D. Drew on the Sox roster and the two guys couldn’t be any more different.  In terms of salary and expectations they are completely different and their personalities are polar opposites.  Ross, like many of the supporting players the Sox brought in this season, is known for being a positive clubhouse presence.  Ross is a guy you could compare to, say, a Kevin Millar.  He keeps things loose in the clubhouse and that is probably exactly what the Red Sox front office was looking for in light of the debacle in the clubhouse last season.

Overall I think Ross was a great addition to the Red Sox staff for a bunch of different reasons.  He’s a relatively proven player who can play multiple positions and do different things for you offensively as well.  He could steal a base if you need him to.  He can play small ball if you need him to.  He can hit pretty much anywhere in the lineup save the heart of the order.  He was a low risk/high reward kind of guy and he’s also the kind of guy that Red Sox fans love to fall in love with if he produces.  He plays hard and plays the game right.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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