Offseason Homework Assignments - Josh Reddick

Scott Halleran

This week we hop over to the other corner outfielder to take a look at Josh Reddick.

Oakland's Opening Day 3-hole hitter had a difficult year in 2013. Let's break it down and see what was good and what can be improved.

By the numbers

Below are Reddick's season stats.

Season

Team

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB%

K%

ISO

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

BsR

Off

Def

WAR

2013

Athletics

114

441

12

54

56

9

10.40%

19.50%

0.153

0.255

0.226

0.307

0.379

0.303

92

3.4

-0.7

11.3

2.7

So we see Reddick didn't hit for high average or much power, but he did cut down on the strikeouts and post a career-best BB%. It is worth mentioning that after his return from injury on June 1st, Reddick posted a slash line of .248/.319/.417 for a very respectable OPS of .736.

Reddick went through an effort in the offseason to improve his opposite field hitting (didn't every A's hitter).


Pull wOBA

% BIP

Center wOBA

% BIP

Opposite wOBA

% BIP

2013

0.376

41

0.325

37

0.245

22

2012

0.582

39

0.309

37

0.227

24

2011

0.514

41

0.360

37

0.192

22

Reddick's opposite field hitting went from basically an automatic out to very nearly an automatic out. His pull power went down however, by quite a bit.

In 2013 (and for his career for that matter), Reddick showed not drastic LHP/RHP split, so that's nice.

Areas for improvement

Stay healthy

Reddick's season was sidetracked after that fateful attempt on a foul ball in Houston. It is difficult to quantify the impact the injury had on his season, but it definitely didn't help anything.

Hit fastballs

For the second straight year Reddick had a negative weighted value on fastballs according to BIS (-3.6). Considering he sees about 60% fastballs, Reddick has to get this figured out.

Home road splits

Even after returning from injury, Reddick really struggled hitting at the Coliseum. From June on, Reddick hit .224/.298/.299 for an OPS of .599. Only one of Reddick's home runs post-injury came in the Coliseum. Reddick's wOBA on fly balls was way down from 2012 (.272 vs. .376), so it is entirely possible Reddick's wrist injury cost him some power at the spacious Coliseum. A quick look at his hit chart at the Coliseum shows a few balls with just a little bit more on them would have been home runs.

 photo HitChart_zpsa068450d.png

Swing Analysis

I have already critiqued Reddick's swing a couple times (here and here), so I will give my GIF maker a break. Truthfully, watching Reddick nearly brings me to tears simply because he is so close. Reddick has a great stride, tremendous lower body function, good front side mechanics, and terrible rear arm function. Because of this, Reddick has to start his swing earlier than most hitters if he wants to catch up to fastballs, which leaves him susceptible to off-speed. This especially leaves him vulnerable against guys with good heat and a breaking ball (does a certain at-bat against Max Scherzer ring any bells?).

Throwing Analysis

An article on Reddick doesn't seem complete without talking about defense. I don't claim to be a pitching expert, but I do know a thing or two about throwing, so I will take a stab at breaking down Reddick's throwing motion. This throw is from 2012 but for illustrative purposes I think it is fine.

 photo ReddickThow_zps51363858.gif

First we see Reddick get all of his weight on the rear side with a crow hop, then get a strong drive from his back leg (hip abduction). From there, Reddick starts his upper body motion by extending both arms and setting his shoulder plane in a movement called "matching" by Vanderbilt pitching coach Derek Johnson (the front side matches the back side). Now is when Reddick really builds power. He externally rotates both shoulders to stick out his chest to form a "Proud Warrior" pose (see how the "Reddick" on his jersey gets distorted). From there, Reddick starts to turn his body, tucking his glove-side arm under and tilting his body. Notice the tilt in his head. His posture is tilting to allow a strong rotation and high release point. While Reddick's body is powerfully rotating, he actually leaves behind the ball, laying the hand behind the elbow. When his arm gets caught by the rotation of his body, the ball is sling-shot from a high release point. Incredibly powerful movement. One last thing, it is hard to tell in the video, but Reddick's forearm actually pronates (thumb goes from up to down) during the release of the ball. Considering Reddick had a wrist injury and still managed to gun down runners really speaks to this guy being one tuff SOB.

Projection

Man I don't know. For me, Reddick is the biggest question mark going into 2014. Will he be healed? Was the injury the root of the power loss? If he doesn't hit, is his defense good enough to keep him in the lineup? What type of hitter will he be, the home-run hitting one-trick pony of 2012, or the walking more type of 2013? Will he ever improve his rear arm function? Will he steal bases? You get my point.

Steamer has Reddick at 19 HR with a .323 wOBA and 105 wRC+. That would put Reddick in the bottom 3rd offensively of RF in the league. But factor in the defense, and you have a pretty nice right-fielder. Plus, considering that the middle of the order seems pretty solid with Lowrie, Donaldson, Moss, and Cespedes (right or wrong), having Reddick has the 6th or 7th hitter in the lineup isn't all that bad. Maybe I am just being lazy, but I think I will go with Steamer's prediction. I will mark Reddick as my biggest potential flop coming into 2014. Between the injury, his shaken confidence, swing issues, having Choice over his shoulder, I believe he has the biggest chance of having a down year.

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