This is a post to all those who have asked the question, what's the matter with Josh Reddick? Earlier I was pointing out the numerous swing flaws with Jemile Weeks (linear handpath, knob pull, bat drag) and I begun to wonder what has changed with Josh Reddick? What happened to the man that was tearing the cover off of the ball in May? Maybe he is just tired, afterall it is a very long season and such a thin man like Reddick would certainly wear down given the rigors of the season. And that's a fair point, maybe Reddick has lost weight/muscle, he does have a tooth infection which has probably made it difficult for him to eat. So then I got curious and looked into the archives and I believe I understand why Reddick isn't putting up the numbers like he was earlier in the year. His swing is much different and it is longer.
When your swing becomes longer two things happen. You strikeout more and walk less. In may Josh walked 17 times and struck out 25 times in 26 games. In August Josh has walked 4 times and struck out 23 times in 18 games.
Sometime in the middle of June Josh's hands began to creep up from their normal height in his batting stance. Throughout May they were generally chest high in his stance, and by the third week of June they were noticeably higher. This wasn't too big of an issue as Josh was able to get the bat on plain and get the bat on the correct path. But also to point out, the farther you start your hands from the launch position(where your hands are right when your heel comes down generally just off the back shoulder chest high), the longer the bat has to travel and when the bat has to travel a longer distance it also makes timing more difficult.
So by late June Josh has his hands probably too high in his stance creating a longer swing, and by early July he had begun to wrap the bat rather than cock the bat as well as holding his hands higher than optimal. If you look at his swing, the difference in the position of the bathead when he's in his loading phase. Good hitters have a slight cock of the barrel when they start to load and gear up for the swing. In May Reddick held his hands roughly chest high cocking the bat where it was pointing nearly straight up from just behind his helmet. The bat was near vertical in the load phase of the swing. But if you fast forward to July-August the hands are much higher and the barrel is no longer vertical, it is a horizontal wrap position. You can also look at his hands, in May his hands are much more vertical.
I apologize that I don't have the graphics to illustrate exactly what I mean, and some of the smaller details I omitted, but the main point is that Reddick's swing has changed. It isn't the same as it was earlier in the season. Even if he is feeling 100% healthy the mechanics are still different. I hope he brings his hands down in the stance and shortens up his stroke. In the span of 3 months Josh has gone from a compact swing to a longer Bryce Harper type swing. Bryce Harper is also a player that is going to need to make big changes unless he wants to be a 240 hitter his whole career.
I'm a huge Reddick fan love the A's, but I just wanted to point out, it's not simply a case of fatigue, his swing has changed.