Red Sox Top Ten Prospects, No. 2: OF Josh Reddick

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IApril 3, 2010

Drafted: 17th Round, 2006 (Middle Georgia JC)

Height: 6′2″; Weight: 180 lbs

Born: February 19, 1987

Josh Reddick hails from Effingham County, Georgia, which is located approximately twenty miles north of the magnificent Antebellum city of Savannah. He was born to be a baseball player.  It’s all he has wanted to do since he was four years old and it’s all he wants to do for the next 15 or 20 years.

It seems to me that he may get his wish.

He is assuredly a five-tool ballplayer. By that I mean all five of his baseball tools (hitting for average, hitting for power, speed, fielding and throwing) will be average or better as a big leaguer.

At the dish, he is an aggressive hitter who is not especially selective.  Regardless, scouts consider him to be a “contact hitter”. He once told me his hitting philosophy stems from his father, who told him as a boy: “See the ball, hit the ball.”

In spite of his success at the plate, the club has asked him to make changes geared to improve his plate discipline. They tweaked his mechanics and asked him to change his approach at the plate, and despite initially struggling to make the adjustment, he demonstrated some improved selectivity last season.

He has extra raw power and speed. He has a quick bat and an uppercut swing that generates very good power. He is still learning to use his speed on the base paths and isn’t much of a threat to steal, but he uses his speed to good advantage in the outfield. He has a “dirt dog” mentality and plays the outfield with abandon. He has good range and a strong, accurate throwing arm (he has 50 assists in 290 professional games as the 2010 season begins). He can play center field, although he has shown that he excels in right field.

He will continue to learn his craft and hone his hitting skills at Pawtucket (Triple-A) in 2010. He may be the guy who eventually replaces J D Drew in right field, if he isn’t included in a package bound for southern California later this year in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez.

I hope not. Josh is a heckuva nice guy. On a personal level, he is very polite and incredibly respectful. On a professional level, he respects the game, he works his tail off, he is intense, and he always has his effort meter set at 100 percent. He plays the game in a way that will be greatly appreciated in Boston.