In December of 2011 the A’s made a big move trading away their All-Star closer and starting right fielder for an outfielder that came off the bench in Josh Reddick and two prospects in Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. The deal at the time was designed to add depth to the minor leagues as well as give a bench player a shot at playing a full season. The trade was seen as low risk high reward given the fact that Bailey and Sweeney were oft injured and could never stay in the lineup. No one knew how high the reward would be for the A’s.
Jul 14, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (16) at bat against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Last season, in the month of May, something clicked within Josh Reddick. What came of that was an explosion of power that to that point was surely missed in the A’s lineup with the departure of Josh Willingham in the lineup. His defense was so good last season that he won the Gold Glove award for right field, an award the A’s had not seen in recent years (although Mark Ellis certainly deserved one in his time in the Green and Gold). He was a huge part in what the A’s accomplished last season and looked poised to continue his run of success and be a staple in the lineup coming into the 2013 season.
This was not the case however as Reddick struggled to find a consistent stroke to start off the season. He was battling to stay above the Mendoza Line (.200 AVG) and had no power to show either. One day in Houston he was diving for a ball in foul territory and collided into the wall injuring his wrist. He missed a few days, but said he was all right and was back in the lineup. He continued to struggle eventually being dropped in the order and ultimately put on the D.L. to try and get his wrist right.
Reddick has been back in the lineup, still batting near the bottom, since mid May, and after readjusting from being out of the lineup, has began to find the swing of things (pun intended). He recently ended a streak of reaching base safely in nearly 30 games and has seen is average rise from the .180’s to a more respectable .220. He only has four home runs, but his swing has gotten much better and there is no reason not to believe he will rediscover the power that has eluded him this season. If he can turn into the Josh Reddick of last May the A’s offense will be in a great position to start to win some games that the pitching staff cannot hang onto.
Josh Reddick was a major piece to the AL West champion A’s puzzle last season. His amazing defense and powerful offense helped lead the way to October baseball at the Coliseum. He seemed to have lost the offense he developed at the beginning of the season. He may have rediscovered it as of late and therefore should be a candidate for second half sleeper for the Green and gold.