Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick both put up some very solid numbers last season, and could soon add some pop to an already talented and youthful Red Sox team. I dug around to find some comps for each hitter, and I think there is good reason for Red Sox fans to be very optimistic .
First, the comps for Anderson (based off of minor league totals).
As it stands, I like the Wright comparison most. Posada didn't have quite the same contact capacity as Anderson does, and Walker had better power numbers, so they don't match up quite as well.
Anderson showed some extra power in 2008 at advanced A ball, so I also broke down the comparison based strictly off of A+ stats.
Once again, I think the Wright comparison is probably our best here. I think that ultimately Anderson will hit for more power than Wright, but not nearly as much as Walker, and should be a solid .290 plus hitter early in his career. I'll be interested to see if his home run numbers start to climb this year, but even if they don't he still projects as a 25 to 30 plus home run hitter with an upside of 35 to 40.
Here are Reddicks comps (once again, based off of minor league totals).
Overall, I feel most comfortable with the Jermain Dye comp, but Reddick has enough power and plate discipline to match up with Morneau and maybe even Braun over the next year or two.
Just for the sake of it, here are each player's A ball numbers (I wanted to use their advanced A stats, but I felt the A ball stats were more accurate for this comparison).
The Sox made it very clear last year that they wanted Reddick to become a more selective hitter and draw more walks, but it seemed to only mess with his head towards the end of the year, and he didn't respond very well. I've read several articles this spring indicating that the Red Sox will probably lay off a bit this year and let Reddick do his thing while quietly iterating pitch selection, and I think that's probably the best approach to take. Looking at the stats and comps, guys like Reddick succeed the most when they're swinging the bat and making contact, so why not let them? If he had a really bad strikeout to walk ratio it might be a legitimate point of focus, but the numbers suggest he'll probably be just fine.
Anyways, Reddick also projects as a .280 or .290 plus hitter early in his career, with 25 or 30 home runs and 40 on the up side. On the surface it seems that Anderson and Reddick will have essentially the same production level, but they'll get there in completely different ways. Reddick will always be a contact based hitter, while Anderson will be a much more patient on-base type player. Either way, I think they both should have very productive careers.