AJ Reed Named to AFL Fall Stars Roster
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky star AJ Reed has been selected to the East Division roster for the 2015 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars, it was announced.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed had one of the most productive seasons in recent minor league history during 2015, his first full professional season. He led the minor leagues in home runs (34), runs (113) and RBI (127), while hitting .340 with 69 extra-base hits. After the season, Reed – who was also tabbed Houston’s Minor League Player of the Year – was invited to play in the AFL, considered a finishing school for the top prospects in the game.
In 11 games in the AFL, Reed has hit .231 (9-for-39) with three doubles, one homer and six RBI, with the Astros emphasizing he experience hitting elite-level left-handed pitching during his AFL tenure.
Reed joins former UK stars Chandler Shepherd (Red Sox), J.T. Riddle (Marlins), Taylor Rogers (Twins) and James Paxton (Mariners) in the AFL in 2015. A 6-foot-4, 235-pounder, Reed was drafted 42nd overall in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Astros after charting one of the best individual seasons in the history of college baseball with the Wildcats. The unanimous national player of the year, Reed led the NCAA in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.042) during his junior season, while also becoming the first player in Southeastern Conference history to also lead the circuit in pitching wins (12-2).
A native of Frankfort, Ky., Riddle has broken-out on the prospect map in 2015, hitting .318 (7-for-22) in the AFL, with a homer and two RBI in six games. In 2015, Riddle hit .283 with five homers and 29 RBI over three levels, playing mainly shortstop and advancing as high as triple-A.
Rogers, a native of Littleton, Colo., has made four starts, owning a 2-1 record and a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings, allowing only 10 hits and striking out 14. A 6-foot-3 southpaw, Rogers went 11-12 with a 3.98 ERA in 28 games in triple-A, tossing 174 innings and striking out 126. After dazzling on Sunday with four shutout innings, Rogers has worked nine consecutive shutout innings over his last two starts.
A 6-foot-4, 235-pound left-hander, Paxton has also made four starts in the AFL, after being limited to 13 starts for the Mariners in 2015. He has a 1-2 record and a 3.52 ERA in the AFL, striking out 12 and allowing only three walks in 15.1 innings. With the Mariners last year, Paxton was 3-4 with a 3.90 ERA in 67 innings.
A product of Louisa, Ky., Shepherd has worked in relief in five games in the AFL. He has fanned eight in 5.2 innings pitched. Shepherd pitched in a pair of class-A leagues in his first full professional season, going 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 35 games with seven saves.
The AFL Fall Stars will start on Saturday at 8:08 p.m. ET in Phoenix, Ariz., at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.