Apr 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Boston Red Sox left fielder Cody Ross (7) celebrates after hitting a go ahead home run in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Red Sox won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Cody Ross never made much of a lasting impact with the five teams he played for before joining the Boston Red Sox this offseason. Just 15 games into his first season in Boston, he leads the club in home runs. Did the Sox catch lightning in a bottle?
Cody Ross was a relative nobody, a journeyman outfielder who was good enough to stick around on major league rosters but never good enough to land a big contract. That didn't deter the Boston Red Sox, though, and their pressing need for outfielders of any kind (especially of the non-J.D. Drew variety) led them to throw $3 million at Ross this offseason and give him a corner office at Fenway Park.
Nobody could have seen such a hot start coming from the 31-year-old Ross. Not even Carmine.
Ross has a team-leading five home runs and is batting .283 with 13 RBI through the first 15 games of the season. The hot-handed Ross put his big bat on display Monday night, connecting for two homers -- a game-tying blast in the seventh inning and the go-ahead shot in the ninth inning of the Red Sox' 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
|2012 - Cody Ross||15||53||11||15||3||0||5||13||6||19||0||1||.283||.350||.623|
How unexpected is Ross' start? Well, Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine might swear they knew he had this in him, but even Theo-lite and the inventor of the wrap have to be surprised by Ross. This is a guy that, even though he has topped 20 homers in a season on two occasions, hadn't done so in two seasons. He's on pace for 54 homers.
Of course, it's still early -- you can count the number of games played on three hands (if you are so fortunate to have three hands). It's not likely that Ross will stay on this pace, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. Sometimes, players just click in new environments for no apparent reason.
Look at Jose Bautista, who never hit more than 16 home runs in his career until 2010 and ... bam, 54 dingers. His sudden surge in homers could be explained by performance enhancing drugs, but no one except Bautista knows if that's the case (hopefully it isn't). Still, get the point?
In a season of imploding bullpens and television personality managers, Ross' production is a welcome addition, and if he can keep it up, we may be looking at a star in the making.
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