Playing The Feud With Josh Reddick and Letters From Sam Part Two

Are you ready Family Feud contestants?  We’ve got the top four answers on the board.  The category is:  Name something that is incredibly hot.

“The surface of the sun”

Excellent answer.

“A vindaloo dish at an Indian restaurant.”

A bit obscure, but yes, that’s correct.

“Actress Diane Lane”

Absolutely.

“PawSox outfielder Josh Reddick at the plate.”

The number one answer.

(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

OK, forgive me for the lame stab at comedy, but I’m having a hard time describing just how well Josh Reddick is swinging the stick.

I guess some stats would be a good place to start.

On Thursday night at Lehigh Valley, Reddick went 3-for-5 with 2 home runs in Pawtucket’s 11-8 win over the IronPigs.  Josh has homered in four straight games and has crushed 8 HR in his last 11 games to move into a tie for the league lead.  Thru 20 games, the 24-year-old outfielder is batting .296/.376/.691 with 6 2B, 1 3B, and 8 HR. 

“I just feel like nothing can go wrong and everything is going my way,” Reddick told me after the game.  “When I’m up there, I’m just trying to swing at good pitches and it’s working out for me right now.”

“He’s a confident hitter,” said PawSox hitting coach Chili Davis.  “He knows he can hit and he’s figured out that he can drive the ball all over the field.  He’s not chasing pitches.  It’s a long year and you go through ups and downs, but I like where he is right now.” 

Some hitters say that when they’re on a hot streak, the baseball looks like a beach ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand.  Not Reddick.    

“The beach ball comment is kind of overrated to me,” Reddick said.  “The main thing for me is just trying to keep my head down and take a nice easy swing and not get overanxious up there.  That’s what I’m doing.  I’m seeing the ball all the way to the bat instead of pulling off.”

“He had three good at-bats tonight, but in his last at-bat I think he went out of his zone,” Davis said.  “He swung at a 2-0 changeup and I’m trying to get him to not waste at-bats.  Keep working the pitchers, get good pitches to hit, and then hit them hard.”

This is the second time in Reddick’s minor league career that he has gone deep in four straight games.  In 2009 at Portland, Josh went hitless in the season opener before belting home runs in the Sea Dogs next four games.

“When I did it in Portland, all of the reporters came up to me and said that I tied a team record,” Reddick said.  “The next game I went 0-for-4, so I’m going to keep that off of my mind as much as possible.  I’m not going up there trying to hit home runs – things are working in my favor right now and the ball is going out for me.”

He doesn’t necessarily look like a typical home run hitter at a slender 180 pounds, but since August 2nd of last year, Reddick has 18 HR in his last 225 Triple-A at-bats (HR every 12.5 at-bats). 

“He’s got pop because he’s got good bat speed,” Davis said.  “He doesn’t take half-swings.  When he sees something that he wants to hit, he’s trying to hit it hard.  You can’t teach bat speed.  You can teach a lot of things, but you can’t teach bat speed.  He was blessed with that.”

* * * * *

For the second straight road trip, my 4-year-old son Sam sent me a note and had my wife Peg mail it to the team hotel in Pennsylvania (you can see the first note here).

Here is letter #2:

Once again, the words were not really separated and it took me a few minutes to translate, but I think I’ve got it.

How are you Daddy?  Do you know what I just got?  A travel easel.  Love, Sam.

Short and to the point this time.

* * * * *

 The PawSox (13-8) conclude their 7-game road trip on Friday night at 7:05.  I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.

And a 4-game homestand begins on Saturday night at 6:05 against Toledo with a big fireworks show after the game.  Hope to see you at McCoy! 

I’d love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com

If you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

And I have finally joined Facebook.  Just search for Dan Hoard and look for the photo of me with the handsome lad.

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