April 7, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Already honored as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been named Louisville Slugger National Player for the second time in 2014, it was announced by Collegiate Baseball on Monday afternoon.
Reed, who was named SEC Player of the Week for the second time in 2014 earlier on Monday, was named one of six Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week. He joins honorees in Virginia lefty Nathan Kirby, who struck out 18 in a no-hitter, a Southern New Hampshire pitching duo, San Diego catcher Jesse Jenner, Liberty righty Parker Bean – who had his no-hitter broken up with two outs in the ninth – and San Diego State righty Bubby Derby, who struck out 15 in 8.1 innings.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed hit homers in all three games of the UK series win over No. 12 Florida, also helping UK to a midweek win over No. 8 Louisville. A 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, Reed went 8-for-12 vs. the Gators, with five runs, six RBI, a 1.667 slugging and a .733 on-base percentage. In addition, Reed worked seven shutout innings in a win on Friday night, scattering five singles, while going 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and a homer. On Saturday, Reed went 2-for-4 with four RBI and a homer, before going 3-for-4 with a double, homer and HBP on Sunday in a series-clinching win.
Reed ranks second in the NCAA in homers (12) and is just one behind William and Mary slugger Michael Katz. The SEC leader in homers with double the total of the next closer player (UK’s Micheal Thomas and Ole Miss’ Sikes Orvis) Reed is the only player from a BCS conference with eight or more homers.
In 2014, Reed is hitting .377 with 12 homers and 39 RBI, while owning a 6-1 record with a 1.93 ERA on the mound. Reed has wins on the mound over No. 1 Virginia, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 5 Vanderbilt and No. 12 Florida. In his career, Reed has hit .309 in 142 games, slugging 29 homers and driving in 134 runs at the plate, while owning a 13-12 record and a 3.00 ERA in 192 innings on the bump.
Reed has now won the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week award twice in 2014, also earning it on Feb. 24 after he hit five homers in three games, and worked a win on the mound. Reed was named SEC Player of the Week following that barrage and was also named NCAA.com national player of the week.
Kentucky (22-10, 6-6 SEC) has moved up in the polls released early on Monday, checking in at No. 12 in the Baseball America poll, No. 14 in the Perfect Game top 25 and No. 18 in the Collegiate Baseball top 30.
The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday, hosting Morehead State at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.