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David Ross will be a major impact behind the plate for the Red Sox.
It's strange to have two catchers on this list. But with so many catchers on the 40-man roster and Jarrod Saltalamacchia possibly on his way out, two backup catchers could make a big impact in 2013.
David Ross was a cheap free-agent signing for two years and $6.4 million.
His biggest contribution to the team will not be his bat, but his defense.
Ross has a career .238 AVG and .444 SLG. He’s played fewer than 80 games in all but two of his 11 professional seasons.
On top of that, he has averaged about 57 games played, five homers and 21 runs batted in per season since 2008.
However, his defense and pitch calling will be a major help to the starting rotation, which posted an awful 5.19 ERA in 2012.
Since 2009, Ross has a .992 fielding percentage, throws out base runners at a rate of 40 percent and has not recorded a catcher’s ERA greater than 4.00. The soon-to-be 36-year-old had a 3.43 CERA in 2009, 3.15 CERA in 2010, 3.11 CERA in 2011 and 3.59 CERA in 2012.
During that span, Salty has a .988 fielding percentage, throws out just 25 percent of base runners and has not recorded a catcher’s ERA better than 4.00. On top of that, he’s allowed 163 stolen bases over the last two seasons.
Fellow B/R writer, Andrew Martin, strongly makes the case that the Red Sox should even start Ross over Saltalamacchia for his much better defense and slightly better career OBP and SLG numbers.
I couldn't agree more. Ross' defense and ability to help the starting rotation is more valuable than Salty's bat.
The addition of Ross is similar to why the Red Sox held onto Jason Varitek for so long. Neither rank as great hitters, but both provide great defensive value.
For a low price, Ross will make a major impact with the Red Sox for his defense and ability to call games behind the plate.
He will be one of the most underrated players on the team in 2013.
Statistics used and developed through Baseball Reference.