David Ross: Why the Atlanta Braves Are in Good Hands with This Catcher

Will BrownContributor IJuly 28, 2011

ATLANTA - JULY 27: David Ross #8 of the Atlanta Braves knocks in the game-winning run in the 10th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field on July 27, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

David Ross is no Brian McCann. I'll just go ahead and get that out of the way. However, that doesn't mean that Ross is completely incompetent as the Braves catcher.

This year, Ross has put up a slash of .296/.374/.494 with four homers and 18 RBI in 81 at-bats. In his first start after McCann went on the disabled list, Ross went 2-4 and knocked in both Atlanta runs in a 2-1 win, including the walk-off hit in the 10th inning.

Ross has been good enough that at one point there was an article on Bleacher Report saying that the Braves needed to try him at another position to keep his bat in the lineup. That won't happen, but we will now get a chance to see what he can do every day.

If Ross continues to hit anything like he has this year, the Braves won't miss McCann too terribly. That's probably unlikely though, as Ross's career slash is just .237/.326/.448. He will always provide solid pop for a catcher though, and his leadership and pitch-calling will still be a big benefit to the team.

At 34 years old, Ross has seen every type of pitcher and knows what he can and cannot do. He hasn't been a starter since 2007, but that year he did hit 17 home runs for the Cincinnati Reds. Since joining the Braves, Ross has hit .285 though and has been as consistent as any other player on the team. He's also posted a very good OPS of .877.   

Over the next couple of weeks, I expect that Ross's average will come back down a little bit from playing every day, but he will still provide good patience and good power for the position. The Braves are still trying to make a move for a bat, but Ross should at least be able to help out if they are unable to grab a superstar.