Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick are in a friendly competition for the A’s homer and RBI lead.
Josh Reddick and Stephen Vogt have a little competition going. They want to do battle for the A’s home run and RBI leadership this season.
It’s Vogt in the lead at this point with nine homers, including a two-run shot in the first inning of Tuesday’s 9-2 win over Boston, and 30 RBIs, the best in the American League. The nine homers match his single-season best with more than three quarters of the season to go.
Reddick is holding his own with six homers, including a solo blast leading off the third inning, and his three RBIs has him at 25 for the season.
And Reddick, whose average sits at .346 after a four-hit game Tuesday, missed the first week of the season or the right fielder’s power numbers might be closer to Vogt, who is averaging .337.
“This is probably the best I’ve swung the bat for the longest period of time in my life in professional baseball,’’ Reddick said. And Vogt has been great all year. You don’t see that kind of production from catchers now. You expect catchers to hit 260, 270 and call a really good game.
“He’s doing both of those things right now. The damage he’s causing at the plate is just what we needed in the heart of our lineup. It was only a couple of days ago we challenged each other for the most home runs and most RBIs, that’s one of the things we keep joking about every time one of us drives somebody in. It makes for a very fun game, as long as we do our job and put some `W’s on the board.’’
Asked where all his power comes from, Vogt just breaks into a grin.
“ I’m 30 now I have two kids,’’ he said. “I have double daddy strength, I don’t know. I’m getting some good pitches to hit and I think they say power is the last tool to come. To be honest, I don’t know where the power is coming from.’’
But he has some ideas. He’s been working with hitting coach Darren Bush to swing down on the ball and to drive it as hard as he can. Most of his homers are to the exact same spot in the right field bleachers, whether home or road.
“Swinging down on the ball has to be it,’’ Vogt said. “You don’t hit home runs when you try to hit them up. Home runs are line drives you get a little extra on. I’m not trying to do anything other than see the ball and hit it hard down on the ground.’’
And even if it costs Reddick the team home run title, the right fielder doesn’t want to see any changes.
“He’s got me in the homers section right now,’’ Reddick said. “I don’t want to see him cool down. He’s fun to watch.’’