Sunday night, David Ross played in his final regular-season home game as a Major Leaguer. While basking in the glow of four standing ovations, Ross hit his 10th home run of the year and capped what’s been somewhat of a Renaissance year for Jon Lester’s 39-year-old personal catcher.
If ten homers doesn’t sound like a lot, consider they’ve been hit by someone who has garnered just 202 plate appearances this year in spot starts while playing the toughest position on the baseball diamond. Ross has been incredibly efficient in limited work, far better than the casual fan might realize: When considering his limited sample size, Ross has been the second most valuable Cub when looking at Wins Above Replacement in relation to a player’s time at the plate.
Ross gets a Win (which calculates a player’s value over an average, or “Replacement Level,” player at their position) every 106 plate appearances, better than all other Cubbies with at least 100 plate appearances outside of Kris Bryant.
Here’s the full list:
|Albert Almora Jr.||102||0.8||127.50|
|Tommy La Stella||153||0.6||255.00|
Ross benefits from playing a taxing position, but that — accompanied with his age, wear and tear — makes his dip in the Fountain of Youth in 2016 even more noteworthy.