Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
Recent University of Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The Terre Haute native 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, 235-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.
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), runs batted in (73), walks (49), total bases (164) and on-base percentage. He 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 earned-run average along with his 12-2 record, hitting .462 in his 16 pitching starts, with six homers and 22 RBIs. 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 Major League Baseball 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 left Indianapolis at 6 a.m. Monday 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 Tuesday night, going 1 for 3 with a walk in his second game in the New York-Penn League with the Tri-City ValleyCats.