Kentucky Wildcats two-way superstar A.J. Reed was selected with the 42nd overall pick in Thursday night’s Major League Baseball draft. The junior lefty was a standout both at the plate as well as on the mound for the Wildcats, and was recently rewarded by being named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year.
Reed’s 23 home runs led the NCAA and tied a single-season school record (Jeff Abbott, 1994; John Wilson, 1999). He also led the nation in slugging percentage (.735) and OPS (1.211), and went on to reach base safely in an impressive 57 out of 62 games during the 2014 season. He was every bit the feared hitter in SEC games as non-conference contests, drawing a whopping 15 intentional walks in SEC games.
“Getting drafted by the Astros is something I’m very happy about. It’s a team I feel that is a good fit for myself, being able to add a little power to the organization and I feel that it’s a benefit for both of us. I’m just really excited about it”, said Reed.
For a team that has struggled so much in recent years with offensive output, specifically home runs, A.J. Reed certainly looks to fill that gap for Houston in the coming years.