David Ross is one of the best, if not the best, backup catchers in all of baseball. You don't really expect a lot from your backup. Maybe 150-200 at bats of .700 OPS ball, and you'll be content with that. Ross takes things to a whole new level. Ross has spent the last two seasons with the Braves, and recently re-upped for two more, and by the time those two contracts are up, he'll only have made $6.25 million, or less than what the six highest paid catchers have made on average person season this decade. A pretty good deal, if you ask me. But what really makes Ross so valuable?
Ross has been a fantastic hitter with the Braves, in both 2009 and 2010. In 2009, he posted an .888 OPS and .234 ISO to go along with a 13.9% walk rate (above his career mark), and a 30.5% K rate (slightly above his career mark). Ross remained consistent in 2010, with his OPS only slightly falling to .871, and his ISO falling to .190, one of the lower rates of his career. But it's in the rate stats where he shined. Ross' walk rate remained constant at 13.8%, while his strikeout rate fell to 23.1%, the second lowest mark of his career.
The 3.6 WAR Ross has put up over the last two seasons is good for 7th on the team offensively (keep in mind, this is a backup catcher). He's also done all that in 103 games. Jason Heyward is the only Brave hitter to put up at least 2 WAR in under a full season's worth of at bats over the past two seasons.
I'm not saying Ross is just as good as Brian McCann. That's silly. But what I am saying, is that if the Braves need to give McCann a day off, they're in great hands with Ross behind the dish. They're not totally screwed, like the Phillies usually are with Brian Schneider or the Yankees are with Francisco Cervelli. Ross could start on probably about half of the teams in the league, and he took less money to be a backup in Atlanta. That's the kind of guy I want on my team.