Houston Wildcatters Staff & Coaches

Gross_Rafael

Rafael “Raffi” Gross


Head Coach

​REGION: West/Central

DIVISON: 14U – Major

CONTACT: raffigross@houstonwildcatters.com

FAVORITE BASEBALL PLAYER GROWING UP: Manny Ramirez

Coach Gross was scouted out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 17; he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers camp in 1993 as an infielder / third baseman. Gross played in the minor leagues with both the Dodgers and Cleveland Indians before sustaining an injury that put his career on hold in 1999. At that time, Gross was told that he could not bat again due to the injury and the ensuing hardware placed in his shoulder to repair said injury. Following recovery and rehab, Gross’s cousins taught him how to pitch, and he returned to the Indians as a relief pitcher. In 2001, he joined the Northern League (independent baseball) with the Winnipeg Goldeyes, eyeing the opportunity to transition to becoming a starting pitcher. While with the Goldeyes, Gross earned Pitcher of the Year honors and was named to the Northern League all-star team three years in a row, while additionally earning placement on Baseball America’s all-independent first team twice. In four seasons with the Goldeyes, he finished with a record of 36 wins, 9 losses, and a 2.80 ERA as a starting pitcher. During his stint in the Northern League, Gross was called up to the Chicago Cubs, where he made the 40-man pre-season roster; however, he was sidelined again with a pitching injury. He returned for another two successful seasons with the Northern League before retiring as a player and moving onto the coaching ranks. Gross has subsequently coached youth baseball in the Greater Houston area for the past 10+ years, coaching various high school teams, including the Strake Jesuit High School summer team, Los Tigres — 13U through 16U — and Texas Twelve, in addition to also coaching several younger squads (Los Tigres 9U through 12U). Coach Gross has been training young athletes individually for over 16 years, with many of his trainees going on to play college baseball; two have gone on to play at the MLB level.