Pull-Happy Ross Heads to Fenway
The Boston Red Sox have signed David Ross to a two-year, $6.2 million deal, . Ross, 35, has succeeded Gregg Zaun as the game's Practically Perfect Backup Catcher, batting .267/.345/.450 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 512 plate appearances over the past three seasons. With a pull-happy approach, Ross should add plenty of dents to the Green Monster over the next couple of years.
Ross has pulled about 47% of the pitches that he has put in play since 2010, and he has slugged .769 when ripping a pitch down the left field line. That's 181 points above the MLB average for right-handed hitters over that time frame. Not surprisingly, Ross is adept at turning on inside pitches, particularly low-and-inside stuff:
Ross' slugging percentage by pitch location, 2010-12
Ross has slugged .569 against inside pitches over the past three years, placing him between Paul Konerko and Matt Kemp among righty batters (minimum 500 total PA).
Ross has shown something of a reverse platoon split in recent seasons (266/.333/.420 against lefties, and .266/.355/.475 versus righties), but his signing gives the Sox a chance to sit Jarrod Saltalamacchia against some of the league's tougher lefties. The switch-hitting Salty holds his own against righties (.236/.301/.478 since 2010), but the David Prices and CC Sabathias of the world have haunted his dreams (.192/.251/.346 against lefties). Ryan Lavarnway, who has hit bombs in Triple-A over the past two years (.295/.382/.511) but bombed in Boston (.172/.230/.286), also gets the chance to work the kinks out with the PawSox.