On the Horizon: Josh Reddick
February 24, 2009 2 Comments
Josh Reddick is a 22-year old outfielder out of Guyton, Georgia. He was taken in the 17th round of the 2006 draft out of Middle Georgia Junior College, where he hit .462 and posted a .760 slugging percentage, leading the state in hitting at that level that year.He attributes his success to his fastball hitting ability.
His father lost his left arm and two fingers of his right hand in a working accident (as you see above), but that didn’t stop him from instilling the love of baseball into Josh. I think that says a lot about his family and about Josh Reddick.
Reddick bats lefty, throws righty, and is capable of playing any outfield position. He’s got great arm strength and accuracy from the outfield, though his range is considered just better than average. He’s a very smart baserunner and rarely gets caught, though he isn’t really a burner.
Physically, he’s listed at 6-2, 180, but appears to fall a little short of that. His body shouldn’t be a problem, as he’s wiry strong and athletic; scouts see him filling out in the next couple of years. He’s known for making contact (he won’t fan often) and his quick, aggressive uppercut swing (he seldom hits even 40% grounders).
Here’s what he looks like at the plate:
The Red Sox like his natural talent, but want him to work on laying off of pitches outside of the zone, and also using more of the field, as he tends to pull the ball a lot.
Reddick absolutely tore it up last season at Single-A Greenvile and High-A Lancaster, but ended the year with a disappointing .214/.288/.436 line at Double-A Portland. In his first go-round in the AFL, Josh continued to struggle, hitting .189/.210/.389. Keep in mind, however, that he is really raw compared to a lot of the talent that was there. He blogged about the experience here.
Reddick is a gifted athlete and a good kid. He’s got enough power already, but the key will be how he handles his at-bats and if he can wait for his pitch at the highest levels. Josh needs to be more selective and get that walk rate above 10% to really have a chance here, and buy into the Red Sox’ offensive philosophy. He has been mentioned in the same breath with Lars Anderson, so there is upside.
With his power swing and strong throwing arm, Josh appears to slot well into right field and could be an eventual replacement for J.D. Drew if things go right. That’s a big “if”. I really hope that Reddick gets a shot here in Boston, but with the way things work around here, I see him probably getting shipped off in a trade at some point. Here’s hoping.