Hitter Analysis, Players to Target

Players to Target: Josh Reddick

Josh Reddick, long a fantasy favorite of mine, is finally out of Oakland and into a good situation. Reddick has had some injury issues, but when healthy he’s a solid contributor in all five categories without a major fantasy weakness. I’m willing to gamble on the health with Reddick because his current NFBC OF ADP is 69th (nice) and 287th overall. This means Reddick is likely barely being drafted in 12 team leagues. I think Reddick has top 30 OF upside and I’ll be grabbing him all over if that discount holds.

Let’s start with the easy category: steals. Reddick isn’t a burner but he’s been a good runner throughout his MLB career. Reddick has been very consistent in the SB department and despite turning 30 next month, I would bet on him to continue his production.

Year Attempts SB SB%
2012 12 11 91.67
2013 11 9 81.82
2014 2 1 50.00
2015 12 10 83.33
2016 11 8 72.73

In 2014, Reddick had knee issues and only played in 109 games so I’ll give him a break for the low SB year. In every other year, Reddick has attempted 11-12 steals and logged at least 8. Reddick won’t ever steal 15 bases but he’s a virtual lock for 8-12 steals.

 

Batting average is an area where Reddick has fluctuated quite a bit. He put up a career high .281 AVG in 2016 but is a career .255 hitter. His career BABIP is a low .280. Last year it was .306 which might explain the high average. Unfortunately, Reddick doesn’t hit the ball hard (about 88 mph avg exit velocity since 2015) nor does he have an elite line drive rate (20.5% for career). Last year’s BABIP was likely driven by a paltry 5.6% infield fly ball rate (career 10.3%). It’s likely that he returns to his career number in this regard which will hurt his BABIP (IFFB are outs nearly 100% of the time). He does have back to back years of a .270+ AVG and in 2015 he put up a .272 AVG with a .278 BABIP so I don’t think we will see a precipitous drop. Reddick might only end up middle of the pack in AVG but I don’t think he hurts you unless something goes very wrong.

 

Reddick is five years removed from his unreal 32 HR season in 2012. Since then his high water mark is only 20 HR in 2015. I’m not going to say that Reddick will hit 30+ dingers but I’m confident that he can get to the mid-20s. Reddick is only slightly above average in HR/FB with a career 10% mark but he is getting a significant park upgrade. The move from Oakland to Houston is a 15% increase in HR park factor for left-handed batters. Reddick is going from the 4th worst park for LH power to the 10th best. Park factor isn’t everything but if Reddick was able to consistently pace for high teens HRs in Oakland, he should be able to break 20 in Houston.

 

Over the last two years, Josh Reddick has taken the majority of PAs from the three spot. It shouldn’t surprise you that the Athletics have been awful at the top of the order since 2015.

Year Batting Ord OBP MLB Rank
2015 1 0.3 26
2015 2 0.291 29
2016 1 0.289 30
2016 2 0.269 30

Reddick’s RBI opportunities have been damn near zero over the last two years. There couldn’t have been a much worse situation for RBI over the last two years than the three hitter for the A’s. Reddick unsurprisingly is going to a significantly better team with a potent offense. He will be hitting down in the order but the lineup is great above him which should lead to plenty of RBI opportunities.

1 George Springer
2 Jose Altuve
3 Carlos Correa
4 Carlos Beltran
5 Brian McCann
6 Alex Bregman
7 Josh Reddick
8 Yulieski Gurriel
9 Nori Aoki

(Via Rosterresource)

That’s a solid 1-9. The three directly ahead of Reddick are about league average in OBP but as the chart above showed, that is a significant boost in RBI potential. If Reddick ever finds himself batting 4th or 5th… The current Steamer projection for Reddick is a low 68 with 512 PA. that is more or less what he did in 2015 in Oakland. I think Reddick can easily break 80 in RBI and I’ll just go all in and say that I think Reddick breaks 90 RBI. I’m not as optimistic for a high run total given the lineup position but he can’t possibly do worse than what he did in Oakland (paced to 67 R per 550 PA).

 

Steamer is giving Reddick 19 HR, 63 R, 68 RBI, 7 SB and a .268 AVG in 512 PA. Injuries are still a concern for me, but if Reddick gets to 550 PA I think we see 25 HR, 75 R, 94 RBI, 8 SB and a .275 AVG. Using a rough z-score calculation (no categorical weights) this line would have been the 26th best OF in 2016. Even if he comes up short he’s still being under drafted like crazy. A 20 HR, 68 R, 80 RBI, 6 SB, .260 AVG line in 2016 would have been good for the 39th best OF using the same z-score calculation. The 20 HR line is more than realistic for Reddick and he’s going 30 OFs later. The injury risks are real, but the cost is essentially free. Don’t sleep on Josh Reddick.

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