College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2013 college baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be adding players day-by-day until we get to number one!
Number 37 on our Top 100 Countdown is Kentucky’s A.J. Reed. The 6’4 first baseman/left-handed pitcher from Terre Haute, Indiana was selected in the 25th round by the Mets in 2011.
During his freshman season in 2012, Reed appeared in 55 games for the Wildcats, 51 of which he started. In those 55 games, Reed earned the reputation of being one of the best two-way players in college baseball. Offensively, he batted .300 on the season including 43 RBIs, nine doubles and four home runs. On the mound, Reed went 5-3 with an ERA of 2.52 in 16 games, including five starts. In his 53.2 innings pitched, Reed struck out 51 batters while only walking nine.
His success earned him a variety of awards including being named a semifinalist for the John Olerud Award for Best Two-Way Player in addition to being a consensus Freshman All-American–the first in program history.
Reed spent the summer playing in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Harwich Mariners. In his eight appearances, all of which were starts, Reed posted a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 2.32. In 4his 2.2 innings pitched, Reed struck out 41 while only walking 10. His 2.32 ERA was the third-lowest in the Cape League.
From a scouting perspective, Reed brings a lot to the table. On the mound, his repertoire is highlighted by a stellar fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s, in addition to two solid pitches in his breaking ball and changeup. At the plate, he brings a great deal of power into the batting order. With his strong presence as a two-way player, Reed is someone that brings havoc to opposing teams all game long. Fortunately for Wildcat fans, with Reed in the starting rotation and a staple in Kentucky’s batting order, they will get to see a lot of him throughout the season. Reed, who is inarguably one of the best two-way players in college ball, has only seemed to mature with time both on the mound and at the plate, which makes him one of the most exciting players to watch for in 2013.