The Florida Marlins have been searching for a centerfielder for years now, but that search may be at an end. At least for the rest of this season, it is clear that they should make Cody Ross the starter, because all he ever hits is home runs.
When I was a wee lad, one of my favorite books ever was called “The Kid Who Only Hit Homers,” about a boy who meets a magical friend and then goes on to only hit home runs the rest of the season. Well this month, Cody Ross has done his best impression of that boy.
In the month of May, Cody Ross batted .252 and OPS’d 1.182. But the way he did it was astonishing. For the month, Ross tallied 12 hits in 47 at bats, and 9 of those 12 hits were home runs. The guy basically goes 1 for 4 with 1 home run every game he plays in.
For the season, Ross has 10 homers, 3 doubles, and only 8 singles in 98 at-bats. In baseball history, only 2 players have ever hit more home runs than singles over the course of a full season with at least 350 plate appearances. You may have heard of them, as their names are Barry Bonds (once, in 2001), and Mark McGwire (four times).
While Ross’s all or nothing approach has left him with a season batting average of .214, it has also yielded a fine .833 OPS and has him on pace for 33 homers, despite the fact that he has only started every other game in center.
Given that the Marlins other options in center field are the offensively woeful Alfredo Amezega, and the completely washed up Jacque Jones, the Marlins really ought to be running Cody Ross out their every day. After all, who cares if he only bats .250 and doesn’t walk if he is going to hit a homer every game?