Cody Ross is boring. He’s been the same player every year for like five years now. He’s not good enough to really land on anyone’s radar, but he’s always been good enough to stick around in fantasy leagues of almost any format.
He’s batted between .260 and .270 four times in the last five years, he’s hit either 14 or 22 homers four times in the last five years (and he hit 24 in the other year), and he’s scored between 70 and 73 runs in three of the last four years. Ross sort of just blends into the fantasy background, always the reliable outfielder you plug into your lineup on an off-day or when one of your starters gets hurt. No one really tries to trade for him, and if he is included in a deal it’s probably as a piece to help balance things out.
One of these years Ross is going to fade out of the fantasy picture as quietly as he entered it, but that’s not going to start this year, not after signing a 3 year, $26MM contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nope, we still have at least three more years to take Ross for granted.
At a Glance
Neutral: R, HR, RBI, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, BB
Weaknesses: SB, K
Best-case scenario: Jason Kubel (ARI)
Likely scenario: Garrett Jones (PIT), Ryan Ludwick (CIN), Ryan Doumit (MIN)
Worst-case scenario: Brennan Boesch (DET)
Cody Ross 2013 Fantasy Projection
Right now MLBDepthCharts.com has Ross listed as the leadoff hitter for the Diamondbacks. I don’t know exactly where Ross fits into Arizona’s lineup, but I have a hard time believing they’re going to hand the leadoff spot to a hitter with a career .254 BA and .321 OBP who’s averaged five steals per 150 games and has just 144 career plate appearances batting first.
Gerardo Parra is a great fourth outfielder, particularly defensively, and he’ll be used to spell Ross and Jason Kubel pretty frequently. That’s going to cut into Ross’ counting stats, but he ranked 148th overall last year despite playing just 130 games for Boston.
Like Fenway Park, Chase Field is great for right-handed hitters, and Ross shouldn’t have a hard time approaching the 22 HR he hit last year. He’ll be below average in runs — or average if Arizona does make him their full-time leadoff hitter — but the power stats and the .260-.270 batting average will make Ross a serviceable third or fourth outfielder in fantasy leagues once again.
If you’re in a shallow league and Ross is on free agency or your bench, know that he absolutely crushes left-handed pitching (.284/.353/.575 with 36 HR per 500 AB).