Photo: Ryan Young

50 in 50: Joe Ross

Draft : : Top Prospects
David Rawnsley        
Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Joe Ross
RHP / Bishop O’Dowd HS

Bats-Throws:                           
R-R
Height/Weight:                         6-2/180
Hometown:                               Oakland, Calif.
College Commitment:              UCLA
Birthdate:                                 May 21, 1993

SCOUTING PROFILE: Ross is the brother of Oakland A’s righthander Tyson Ross, a second-round pick of the A’s in 2008 who also attended Bishop O’Dowd High before going on to nearby Cal-Berkeley. Aside from being righthanded and throwing a 90-plus fastball/slider combination, the two don’t resemble each other as pitchers. Tyson was a big-framed 6-foot-5, 200-pounder at the same age and threw from an extremely compact arm action that concerned scouts; almost the exact opposite is true of brother Joe’s smooth, easy arm stroke. Ross has actually been more closely linked to fellow Northern California righthander Robert Stephenson over the past year, and both should go in approximately the same area of the draft, likely between picks 25 and 40—if signability doesn’t complicate their draft status. While Ross and Stephenson are very similar physically with long-limbed and loose athletic builds, their pitching styles and present stuff are not alike, giving scouts a good opportunity to see the differences between the two and make decisions based on those evaluations. Ross has a very clean, polished delivery that he repeats effortlessly. He already has solid command of all his pitches, and there is nothing to indicate that he might have control issues in the future. His three-quarters release point creates a nice angle to the plate, and his arm is loose and easy out front. Ross’ fastball is regularly in the 91-94 mph range and while it is fairly straight at present, he has the ability to spot the pitch well, especially on the inside half of the plate to righthanded hitters. His breaking ball is a low-80s slider that has good tilt and sharpness. He continues to develop his changeup. Unlike Stephenson, Ross has struggled this spring to achieve meaningful success at the high-school level, going just 3-4, 1.20 with two saves. In 46 innings, he has walked just 12 and struck out 59.

Projected Draft Position: Late First Round / Compensation Round

--DAVID RAWNSLEY

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