Tyson Ross had the thrill of his life after he was selected to his first-ever All-Star Game earlier this month. Ross’ breakout campaign has been a pleasant surprise for Padres’ fans, but he’s not the only Ross who’s starting to turn heads. His younger brother, Joe Ross, has now graduated from A ball and has moved on up to Double-A San Antonio.
Ross was the 25th overall selection in the 2011 draft by the Padres out of high school. He would make just one scoreless appearance in the Arizona League that year before the season ended. He walked into 2012 with lofty expectations as Baseball America‘s 95th best prospect and was with just one inning under his belt. Unfortunately for Ross his season was cut short to just 15 starts and 54 innings, after suffering a shoulder injury. Although it wasn’t serious enough to have surgery, it did warrant having the 19-year-old shutdown for the remainder of the season.
Ross’ stock had fallen due to his injury, and his performance at Low-A Fort Wayne where he posted a 6.26 ERA in his final 6 starts of 2012. He would make Fort Wayne his home for the entirety of 2013, and he was able to post an ERA of 3.75, but he was walking just 3 batters per 9, while striking out only 6 and according to ESPN’s Keith Law, his stuff didn’t look as “crisp”. This Ross was a far cry from the Ross who warranted a 1st round pick. Rather than shooting up the top prospect list, he wasn’t even an afterthought going into 2014.
Despite a mediocre performance in 2013, he got to start off the year in Single-A Advanced with the Lake Elsinore Storm. Here is where Ross finally began to shine. Despite being up a level, his strikeouts are up and his walks are down. He’s now striking out over 3 times the amount of batters than the number of batters he walks, rather than less than 2 like last year. And while his ERA may be up to 3.98, the Padres seem to believe that he’s shown enough to move on up into the next level.
Ross is expected to make his debut with the San Antonio Missions on Monday June 21st against his hometown Oakland A’s Double-A affiliate, the Midland Rockhounds. All eyes will be on that game including the aforementioned Keith Law, whose recently released his midseason top 50 prospect list (ESPN Insider subscription required to read) has Ross as the only Padre to make the cut at #41. It’s been a breakout year for Ross, who has jumped in the eyes of many, from a guy who had huge bust potential to back into the ranks of the top prospects. Although this will likely be Ross’ final stop in 2014 and where he’ll start 2015, if he can keep up his performance he’ll quickly find himself in El Paso and then in San Diego with his brother.