Updated: July 22, 2011 11:05 p.m.
|Josh Reddick has turned in an impressive season thus far.|
When David Ortiz returned Friday night from his 3-game suspension, Carl Crawford who had been the designated hitter since coming off the disabled list, returned to his duties as the everyday left fielder.
That move posed a question as to who would start in right, but that question was quickly put to rest.
Speaking on WEEI 850 AM earlier in the day Sox manager Terry Francona put to rest the speculation by naming Josh Reddick the starter for the time being.
All indications are that the team will give the majority of at-bats in the games remaining until the July 31st trade deadline to Reddick to try to gauge what they have in the youngster."I don’t know where it’s going to go. Nobody does," added Francona. "But as much as we want to win games, I think at the moment, [Reddick] gives us a better chance. So that’s what we’re doing."
Reddick has been a spark for the team. After struggles at the big league level in 2009 and 10', Reddick has rebounded in a big way.
According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, The Red Sox are not willing to part with the prospects the Mets want to land Carlos Beltran. One of those prospects the Met's want is Reddick.
If no move is made to add an outfielder, there is a strong change that Reddick supplants himself as the starting right fielder for the Sox for the rest of 2011.
After his own call-up last year outfielder Ryan Kalish made a strong case for himself as the successor to J.D. Drew, but after an early season injury Kalish has been unable to return to action.
Reddick got that call-up and has produced big time, but yet he has not garnered the same praise that Kalish has with regard to the future of his career.
Consensus is that Reddick is nothing more than a fourth outfielder at the big league level and Kalish is still considered to be the replacement for Drew.
The numbers say otherwise. Kalish in 163 at-bats in 2010 managed only a .252 average 4 homers and 24 runs batted in. Reddick is on pace to pass all of those.
When he was called up in 2007 Jacoby Ellsbury provided a spark for the team and won the starting job in center from veteran Coco Crisp.
That team went on to win the World Series and Ellsbury remained the starter.
Reddick's 2011 and Ellsbury's 2007 statistics are very similar with Reddick compiling more home-runs and extra base hits that Ellsbury in less at-bats.
Reddick is not likely to maintain his .378 average throughout the rest of 2011, but there is no reason why he could not continue to improve and maintain his spot as a starting major league outfielder.
SoxProspects.com had this to say about his defensive ability.
"Reads the ball well coming off the walls. Can play all three OF positions well, probably best suited for right field. Some scouts have commented that Reddick has the range to be a full time major league center fielder."
The most impressive part of Reddick's "resurgence" has been his plate discipline. Once a free swinger, he has only struck out 15 times in 82 at-bats. Not Vlad Guerrero but far enough from J.D. Drew for Red Sox fans.
Adjustments are part of the game and Reddick has made a major one.
We all remember how important Ellsbury was the 2007 Red Sox. It looks like Josh Reddick could have the same impact for a team widely chosen as the favorites to reach the World Series from the American League.
Beyond 2011 Josh Reddick will be a starting major league outfielder. He is too good of a player with too much talent. Will it be with the Red Sox? Who knows but he certainly has more to his future than being a fourth outfielder.