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Josh Reddick Wins Gold Glove for Right Field

October 30, 2012

For the first time since 2006 the A’s have a Gold Glove defender. Josh Reddick won the Gold Glove Award for his outstanding fielding in right field. He is the first Oakland outfielder to win the honor since Dwayne Murphy won it in 1985. While Reddick’s overall defense was impressive from day one the thing that stood out, and what he was heralded for when initially traded to Oakland from Boston in the offseason, was his arm. On the season he had fifteen outfield assists good for third in the American League. The eyeball and advanced defensive metrics (which I take some exception to) both loved Reddick, with Reddick saving 18.5 runs with his right field defense. The assists however really don’t speak to a good portion of his defensive value which was the fact that runners stopped dead in their tracks unwilling to test his arm. This saved the A’s innumerable runs and kept players out of scoring position as well, whether or not that is fully accounted for in the 18.5 runs he saved is beyond my understanding of mathematics but to me it seems that it likely is even more valuable. Overall his fielding greatly contributed to his being a 4.8 WAR player (tops on the A’s), putting him in the top echelon of AL right fielders overall along with Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels.

Reddick was acquired from the Red Sox in a trade this winter that shipped Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston. He quickly became a fan favorite and was one of the primary reasons for the A’s success this year both because of his defense and leading power bat in the A’s lineup. Good to see the recognition he deserves, furthermore it is still great having the outfield divided by position and recognizing that the three are unique in their difficulties and skillsets. For an A’s team so buoyed by their defense which helped them prevent runs and give a young pitching staff breathing room, it is good to see at least one Athletic bring home defensive hardware.

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