Oakland’s Josh Reddick is on the rise — will he keep producing?
He was cut from his middle school team … twice. Drafted in the 17th round of the 2006 draft by the Boston Red Sox. Traded to the Athletics during the offseason for a closer who has yet to pitch for Red Sox. Became the quickest player to reach double-digit home runs in his first season with the Athletics since Dave Kingman in 1984. He loves wrestling and is friends with Triple-H. He also loves long walks on the beach and a good chianti. Okay, so I made that last part up. Even so, this self-proclaimed redneck from Effingham County, Georgia, has become one of the most intriguing baseball players to grace a ball field this season.
Josh Reddick is batting .265 with 14 home runs, five stolen bases, 33 runs and 29 RBI. The surprising part is he actually has been a bit unlucky thus far. He has a BABIP of .271, so he could easily have a .280 batting average. Many fantasy owners are wondering if he can keep up this torrid start to the first third of the season, and the answer is yes.
First off, Reddick has 223 plate appearances, so there is no reason why he can’t keep plugging along at his current pace. His strikeout % (19.3) is on par with last season (18.0%) and his BB% is actually higher this season with a 9.0% BB rate as compared to last season’s 6.8%. The stat that we care about most, though, is the ISO, or his raw power. Last season, Reddick’s ISO was .177, however, this season his ISO is .280, which is actually on par with most of his minor league numbers.
Now, the hard part is where to place Reddick for this season of fantasy baseball. Right now, he is a top-15 outfielder on the year. I think Reddick could easily be a top-25 outfielder for the rest of the season. If someone offered Ben Zobrist (drafted as the 17th-best outfielder), I would decline, and I think that is where Reddick falls.
Coming into this season, the Athletics hoped this would be the coming-out season for recently signed Yoenis Cespedes; instead, it has become Josh Reddick’s team. We wonder if Reddick can keep up the production, much like many wondered if Dustin Pedroia could be an All-Star second baseman, or if Albert Pujols could even make it in the bigs. Now, we are witnessing the rise of a new star, and his name is Josh Reddick.