Josh Reddick… Wasted Talent?
By Sean Davis
No doubt about it Josh Reddick has been the single offensive bright spot for the Oakland Athletics. When he was acquired by the A’s from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for popular closer Andrew Bailey it was largely panned as a trade that failed to maximize the value of the All Star. The belief in Boston was that Reddick was nothing more than a good 4th outfielder. Not only has he proven that he’s a starting outfielder, he’s proven that he has the ability to be an All Star.
Nobody expected him to find the long ball stroke like he has this season so far. A May that saw Reddick go deep 10 times, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in the month since Mark McGwire was the A’s first baseman, that says a lot. He has quickly become the People’s Champion, or as I like to call him the People’s Right Fielder, an obvious tie in to his affinity for professional wrestling, and specifically The Rock. At the moment, and by that I literally mean at this moment since Yoenis Cespedes is still on the DL till tomorrow, Josh Reddick is the only real threat in the minds of opposing teams. He strikes fear with his bat, which he may very well imagine as Triple H’s trusty sledgehammer. The ball? Well, maybe the ball is the Undertaker’s head. How ever he is managing to drive the ball like nobody has seen him do so far, he’s making a serious impact, but that begs the question as the season is in free fall, is that impact wasted?
It’s hard to predict whether production like this can be maintained on any level. Sometimes a player simply blossoms in the absolute perfect conditions, sometimes a player is just white hot for a relatively short period of time and cools off after a while. I would like to think that what we have seen from Reddick is an indication that he’s simply figuring it all out as we watch and the A’s managed to pull one over on the Red Sox. Assuming though that his production does not stay at these incredible levels for the coming years (and let’s assume for the sake of the article that he’s still an Athletic, as hard as that may be), it’s unfortunate that it is coming at a time the franchise is in such a stated of disarray. The A’s aren’t going to make any major waves this year, and I desperately wish this outburst was coming at a time that the A’s were expecting to contend.
I highly doubt Reddick will be the type of player you can build a winning team around, but I think he could be the kind of complementary player who can put a contending team over the edge into a serious World Series threat. If the A’s can figure out a way to start developing offensive talent, or figure out a way to bring some premium talent to Oakland, I think Reddick can be the key cog that makes the whole machine run smoothly and efficiently. There is major doubt that the A’s will discover the secret method to developing hitters within the next couple years when Josh Reddick is certain to be around, so I fear his talent, and quite possibly his prime years will be wasted in Oakland, and that’s a real shame. Then again, just like the Boston Red Sox seemingly missed the boat as they called him a 4th outfielder, maybe I’m wrong in calling him a complementary player.
If Josh Reddick takes his white cleat, shines it up real nice, turns it sideways…. (I’ll let you fill in the rest of the phrase) I will be very happy. I would be thrilled if Josh Reddick told me “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!” That is something that would be great to see, if you smell what the Reddick is cookin’.
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