Robbie Ross, former Texas Ranger and Boston Red Sox lefthanded pitcher, has signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox, per reports.
This is not a big deal, but I’m doing a post on it just because Ross is a former Ranger who I have a soft spot for. The 28 year old was a surprise member of the Opening Day bullpen for Texas in 2012, and had pretty decent seasons as a reliever for the Rangers in both 2012 and 2013. Given a shot to start in 2014 when seemingly the entire rotation was broken, Ross struggled, and ended up never really getting on track. Texas dealt him to Boston for righthander Anthony Ranaudo, and Ross was a useful bullpen piece for the BoSox in 2015 and 2016 before struggling in 2017.
Robbie is memorable for a couple of reasons. First, he was the Rangers’ participant in a cow milking contest three straight years — every year he was on the team’s major league club. Second, he was a second round pick of the team in 2008, and has the distinction of being the second-best player the Rangers have picked in the second round of the June draft in team history in terms of bWAR. Roger Pavlik is first, at 10.6 bWAR, followed by Ross at 2.8 and then Barry Manuel at 1.2. Kevin Brown the catcher is the only other Ranger second round pick with more than 0.1 bWAR -- he’s at 0.7 — though Nick Williams should change that soon.
Second round draft picks for the Rangers have been somewhat cursed over the years. 2010 second rounder Cody Buckel appeared poised to be a legit major league pitcher, but was afflicted with the yips and is now retired from playing. 2003 second rounder Vince Sinisi got a big bonus as a highly regarded outfielder out of Rice, but broke his leg, got a staph infection, and ended up needing seven surgeries. de-railing his career. Terrell Lowery, Nick Regilio, Ritchie Moody, Edwin Diaz...the Rangers history is riddled with intriguing second rounders who flame out. Even in 2012, when the Rangers selected Williams, they also used a second round pick on Jamie Jarmon, who ended up busting fairly quickly. From 2013-16, the Rangers’ second rounders have been Akeem Bostick, Ti’Quan Forbes, Eric Jenkins and Alex Speas, none of whom are providing significant reason for optimism right now.
Let’s hope the Rangers’ 2017 second round pick, Hans Crouse, is the guy who finally breaks the curse. Maybe he can, by himself, make up for all the bad luck and bad results from the Rangers second round picks for the last forty years.