It’s very early to make bold statements for 2014. The A’s just finished their first Spring Training against the cross bay San Francisco Giants with a 10-5 win in Scottsdale. Generally Spring Training games don’t make much noise. Starters will see a couple innings and move along with everyone from minor leaguers to players with invites finishing out the game. The times they do make noise however, it’s loud. That was the case Wednesday when right fielder Josh Reddick made not one, but two incredible catches.
Reddick had a breakout year in 2012. The A’s acquired the former fourth outfielder for the Boston Red Sox and prospect Miles Head for former closer Andrew Bailey. He had never seen a full season in the big leagues until 2012 and had long lost the prospect tag. A’s GM Billy Beane saw something in Reddick though and made sure he got him in the return.
Reddick finished 2012 with a triple slash line of .242/.305/.463 with 32 HR 85 RBI. Those numbers shocked everyone, even Beane, while helping the team to an improbable 2012 AL West championship. It wasn’t only Reddick’s offense though. His defense was excellent leading to a well-deserved Gold Glove.
2013 saw a drastic turnaround however. Following the same course as Yoenis Céspedes his offensive numbers dramatically dropped leading to some extra days off at times. Finishing 2013 with a triple slash of .226/.307/.379 with 12 HR and 56 RBI. Those numbers were boosted by a 3 HR 5 RBI game in August against the Toronto Blue Jays. His defense dropped slightly though was still at an elite level.
The major reason for Reddick’s drop in production outside of the adjustments pitchers made towards him was a wrist injury that occurred in the second week of the season in Houston. Reddick slammed into the wall down the right field foul line trying to make a sliding catch. He attempted to play through it, but eventually had surgery to repair the damage. He never did find his groove.
2014 brought a renewed motivation and full health for Reddick and that was put on display Wednesday when Reddick made two unbelievable home run robbing grabs over a 10-foot wall in right field in Scottsdale.The first robbing is already being touted as the catch of the year. He also went 1-3 with an RBI.
If Reddick is fully healthy and can make some adjustments he missed last season 2014 could be a potentially huge year for him. With Céspedes also on the rebound the A’s offense could see a major boost on an already potent lineup. Add in the fact that he will see more favorable matchups with Craig Gentry in the fold and his defense at an elite level Reddick will help carry the A’s to another postseason run. Josh Reddick proved he is back Wednesday. Glovely.