AJ Reed Named ABCA National Player of the Year
June 18, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Two-way Kentucky star AJ Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, Austin Cousino earned his second consecutive Rawlings Golden Glove Award, and Max Kuhn has been tabbed second-team All-Region, it was announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association on Wednesday afternoon.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed earned his fourth national player of the year honor in 2014 with the ABCA honor. The two-way star is seeking to become the third all-time Southeastern Conference player to earn unanimous national player of the year accolades, joining David Price (2007) and Dave Magadan (1983).
Reed has been named national player of the year by Collegiate Baseball and the ABCA, the College Player of the Year by Baseball America, and on Saturday won the 2014 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association at the College World Series.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman was named first-team All-America by the ABCA, first-team All-Region as the designated hitter and second-team All-Region as a starting pitcher. Reed has earned first-team All-America honors from Baseball America, the NCBWA, Louisville Slugger, Perfect Game USA and the ABCA.
Reed joins Kuhn, UK’s third baseman, on the ABCA All-Region team, with Cousino – UK three-year anchor in centerfield – winning his second consecutive ABCA Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Cousino’s honor marks the third player Kentucky history to win the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, joining second baseman Ryan Wilkes (2008) and lefty Corey Littrell (2012).
The 2014 SEC Player of the Year, Reed finished his 2014 season leading college baseball in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211), while leading the SEC in wins (12), RBI (73), walks (49), total bases (164) and on-base percentage. Reed is the first player in the SEC to hit 20 or more homers in the BBCOR era, the sixth player in league history to lead the NCAA in homers, and his 23 bombs tied a UK single-season record. He also posted a 2.09 ERA along with his 12-2 record, hitting .462 in his 16 pitching starts, with six homers and 22 RBI. Reed finished 2014 with more homers than 185 teams in college baseball, including six SEC schools. His 15 homers in SEC play marked more than all but three other league programs.
The first pick of the second round in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, Reed signed his first professional contract last week with a trip to Houston. He then traveled to Omaha, Neb., to receive the Howser Trophy at the CWS, before departing for Indianapolis. After a night home, Reed departed Indianapolis on Monday at 6 a.m. ET, before suiting up for his first professional game later that night, going 0-for-1 with two walks and a steal. Reed collected his first career hit on Tuesday night, going 1-for-3 with a walk in his second game in the New York-Penn League with the Tri-City ValleyCats.
Cousino, a native of Dublin, Ohio, won his third career Golden Glove Award, also earning one as a high school star at Dublin Coffman High School. While breaking his own UK single-season record, set in 2012 as a freshman (142), for putouts in the outfield (178), Cousino helped lead UK back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his career. He finished with a career-high eight outfield assists, ranking among the NCAA leaders.
A 5-foot-10, 178-pound left-hander, Cousino finished his 178-game UK career with a .295 average (216-for-732), with 47 doubles, seven triples, 19 homers and 106 RBI, stealing 48-of-51 bases, and sporting a .456 slugging and a .386 on-base percentage. As a junior in 2014, Cousino hit .308 with 15 doubles, four triples, four homers and 38 RBI, stealing 19 bases.
Cousino, a third-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 2014 MLB Draft, opened his professional career on Monday in the class-A short-season Northwest League with the Everett AquaSox, belting a homer in his second career at-bat.
A native of Zionsville, Ind., Kuhn earned second-team All-Region honors from the ABCA, also earning second-team All-SEC accolades. Kuhn hit .324 in 2014 while playing third base for 62 games, with a SEC-best 68 runs scored. He added 18 doubles, one triple, eight homers and 58 RBI, with 43 walks, a .494 slugging and a .437 on-base percentage. In his three-year career, Kuhn hit .289 with 27 doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 90 RBI, stealing 10 bases. Kuhn was drafted in the 13th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.