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Community Projection Rejection: Cody Ross

Cody Ross.

Every five minutes, a Phillies fan reads that name and punches his or her computer, possibly losing control of their bowels in the process.

Whoooooops. Just lost another couple. Get some wet naps. And it's not just Phillies fans: just google "I hate Cody Ross" and compare the number of returns with the results for more famous players, like David Ortiz or Chipper Jones. He blows them away. He's actually closer to Derek Jeter and A-Rod than he is to most of the stars in baseball. People hate Cody Ross.

Except for here! If it were up to me, this place would be Ross Chronicles -- why couldn't that other guy have hit the ball just three feet higher? -- and it wouldn't just be non-stop Friends talk. It would be an ode to Cody Cody Cody, sweet Cody Ross.

But it's not like we expected him to keep hitting like Frank Robinson in the next regular season. From the projections in March:


AB: 550
AVG: .273
OBP: .329
SLG: .470
HR: 25


AB: 405
AVG: .240
OBP: .325
SLG: .405
HR: 14

Some pretty big whiffs on this one. The power wasn't there for the second year in a row. Last year it was an anomaly. Now it's a trend. His batting average was the lowest it's been since his first full season in 2006. But batting average is an awful imp of a stat. It's totally the coyote trickster of all the mainstream stats, and it might just run off with the moon and stars one of these days just to mess with you.

The power is concerning, but look at that there OBP compared to the batting average.

Year Age PA SO% BB% SO/BB LD%
2006 25 298 21.8% 7.4% 2.95 17%
2007 26 197 19.3% 10.2% 1.90 21%
2008 27 506 22.9% 6.5% 3.52 20%
2009 28 604 20.2% 5.6% 3.59 20%
2010 29 569 21.3% 6.5% 3.27 21%
2011 30 461 20.8% 10.6% 1.96 17%
8 Seasons 2683 21.3% 7.3% 2.90 19%
MLB Averages 17.4% 8.5% 2.04 19%
Provided by View Original Table Generated 10/27/2011.

Last year, he walked. He took more pitches, and he ended up with a walk more than the average player. It feels like he's so close to putting it all together. One year, he has the power. The next he has the eye. Never in the same year. Always teasing. It's like when Limp Bizkit would release a song with wicked riffs one year and then another where Fred Durst had sick flows, but they didn't it together until they released their masterpiece, Name of Album I'm Not Even Going to Look Up for This Joke.

He's close. Here's the thing, though: At every point in his career, he's been worth a spot on a roster. Not just as a 25th-man either; he crushes lefties and he plays a decent center. The Giants need someone just like that for next year. And, lookee here, that guy's a local hero. 

Said it last month, saying it again: Ross should be back. He fits too well here. If there's a team willing to promise him a starting job, well, can't do much about that. I don't think that'll happen, though. I think he's spread his production evenly enough around to where he's going to be underrated.

The Ross of 2008 with the eye of 2011 would be a five-win player. The Ross of 2011 was a disappointment, but not a disaster. He's probably somewhere in the middle. But he'd be a cheap gamble -- the Rowand signing, but for a mere $55 million less.

Oversold him last year, and probably overselling him now. But I want Ross back, dang it.