June 7, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Year, Kentucky junior A.J. Reed has been named the District III Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, it was announced.
Reed, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., is coming off one of the best seasons in the history of college baseball in 2014. A second-round pick of the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft on Thursday, Reed is seeking to become just the third unanimous national player of the year in SEC history. There are five major national player of the year awards in 2014: Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy, Baseball America College Player of the Year, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and the American Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year.
A 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman, Reed finished 2014 leading college baseball in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211), owning more homers himself than 185 teams in the NCAA, including six SEC schools. A first-team All-America selection, Reed hit .336, with 18 doubles, one triple, a SEC-leading 73 RBI, 49 walks and a .476 on-base percentage. On the mound, Reed became the first player in SEC history to lead the conference in pitching victories (12) and homers. He finished 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 16 starts, tossing the second-most innings in UK single-season history (112).
In his three-year UK career, Reed has a 19-13 record and a 2.83 ERA in 46 games and 248 innings. At the plate, Reed – drafted on Thursday as a first baseman – has hit .306 in 172 games, with 35 doubles, 40 homers and 168 RBI.
The 2014 NCBWA District Players of the Year are District I: DH Corey Furman (Bucknell); District II: C Mike Alexander (Delaware State); District III: LHP/1B A.J. Reed (Kentucky); District IV: C Max Pentecost (Kennesaw State); District V: C Kyle Schwarber (Indiana); District VI: 1B Casey Gillaspie (Wichita State) & RP Brendan McCurry (Oklahoma State); District VII: P Aaron Nola (LSU); District VIII: OF Chase Harris (New Mexico); District IX: RHP Ben Wetzler (Oregon State) & OF Michael Conforto (Oregon State).