Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes will be going back over the Top 100 Marlins of all time, from their inception as the Florida Marlins in 1993 through today's incarnation as the Miami Marlins. I used the WAR metric to order all potential members of the list. Today's Marlin, Cody Joseph Ross, earned a mark of 9.5 while with the team.
Ross, also known as “Toy Cannon,” or “Ross the Boss,” is a 5’11”, 195 lb. outfielder from Portales, New Mexico. Born on December 23rd, 1980, he was a fourth round selection in the 1999 MLB Amateur Draft by the Detroit Tigers, 117th overall, the same round as Angel Pagan (17.0 WAR). Ross earned 13.3 over his 12 season major league career.
Ross grew up with aspirations of becoming a professional rodeo clown, also playing football through ninth grade and playing baseball as a pitcher through his senior season. Four years after his selection to the Tigers, he made his major league debut, hitting .211/.286/.421/.707 over six games. He later played 22 games over two seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers (.282/.300/.538/.838, two homers, 10 RBI).
In 2006, Ross started the season with Los Angeles, then eventually found his way to left field for the Cincinnati Reds for all of two games. On May 26th, the Marlins bought his contract, and put him directly into the outfield. He started 19 times in center, 23 times in left, and 30 times in right. In his 91 games with the Marlins, he hit .212/.284/.396/.680, with 11 home runs and 37 RBI. On September 11th, he went four-for-five with three home runs and seven RBI in a 16-5 win against the New York Mets.
In 2007, Ross played in 66 games for the Marlins, hitting 12 home runs with 39 RBI and slashing .335/.411/.653/1.064. He also hit 19 doubles and drew 20 walks versus 38 strikeouts in his injury-shortened season. On April 24th, he collected five RBI with a double and a home run in an 11-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves. August 23rd would see him hit a pinch three-run jack in the sixth inning of an 11-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. On September 17th, he hit two doubles and a homer, totaling two RBI in another 11-6 loss to Atlanta.
2008 would see Ross turn in a full season for the Marlins, appearing in 145 games and making multiple starts in every outfield position. He turned in a slashline of .260/.316/.488/.804 with 29 doubles, 22 home runs, and 73 RBI, with 33 walks and 116 strikeouts. Ross collected multiple hits 24 times, with nine three-hit games.
On May 28th, he smacked two homers for four RBI in a 7-6, 12-inning loss to the Mets. On July 4th, he went three-for-five with a double and five RBI in an 18-17 barnburner lossagainst the Colorado Rockies. The next day, in a 12-6 loss to Colorado, he hit a single, a double and a home run for four RBI. The day after that, he again totaled five RBI with a single, a double, and a round-tripper against the Rockies, this time helping the Marlins to a 10-5 victory. He ended up totaling 12 hits and a walk over 21 plate appearances covering the four contests from July 3rd through 6th, with four two baggers, two four baggers, and 15 RBI in total. August 26th would see him hit a single, a double, and a home run for four RBI in a 10-9 loss to the Braves.
Ross continued to produce for the Marlins in 2009, ranking third on the team with 151 games, second with 37 doubles, tied for third with 90 RBI, and tied for second with 24 home runs. He hit .270/.321/.469/.790 with 34 walks and 122 strikeouts. On April 19th, he hit a single, a double, and a homer, also drawing a walk and collecting five RBI in a 7-4 win against the Washington Nationals. On June 2nd, he hit a single and a home run for five RBI, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-3.
In 2010, Ross hit .265/.316/.405/.721 with 11 homers and 58 RBI, with 37 walks and 121 strikeouts for Florida. On August 22nd, the Marlins waived Ross, and he was claimed by the San Francisco Giants.
Ross hit .247/.330/.414/.744 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI in 154 games for San Francisco. He later played with the Boston Red Sox (130 games, .267/.326/.481/.807, 22 home runs, 81 RBI), the Arizona Diamondbacks (177 games, .268/.322/.378/.699, 10 home runs, 53 RBI), and the Oakland Athletics (nine games, .091/.200/.091/.291, three RBI). He recently rejoined the Giants as a spring training instructor.