Coming off a bounce back season, Cincinnati Reds‘ outfielder Ryan Ludwick is looking to build off the performance he gave the Reds last year.
Many people believed that his career was on the downward slope when he was shipped off from the St. Louis Cardinals to the San Diego Padres and then to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ludwick was not putting up the numbers he once did as a Cardinal with the Padres and Pirates, largely in part because of the way he swings. Most of the power for Ludwick is to right center field. Now, you and I both know that the Padres’ stadium is a huge park and it forced Ludwick to try and pull the ball–thus creating the low numbers.
When he went to the Pirates, the numbers never really rose again and a lot of people began to wonder if they would ever see the same Ludwick as they did while he was a Cardinal.
But the Cincinnati Reds took a chance–and it worked. In the 2012 season, Ludwick hit .275 with 26 home runs and drove home 80. Those numbers were some of the best numbers that Ludwick had put up since 2008–his career year.
Now entering his second year as a Red, the big question for him has to be can he do it again? With the Great American BallPark being a short porch in every single direction of the field and in every sense of the word, I truly believe that we are starting to see the old Ryan Ludwick again.
As stated earlier, Ludwick is an opposite field power hitter. With Great American BallPark being as small as it is, balls fly out of there in a hurry–especially during the summer months. The Reds need him to produce the same numbers he did last season in order them to be successful.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter, @bs_rant1.