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April 20, 2014

Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect

Terre Haute South grad leads NCAA with 15 home runs

(Continued)

LEXINGTON, KY. —

The end game

For all of the accolades already garnered, there’s still plenty of work in front of Reed before the MLB Draft starts on June 5.

Reed still has lead Kentucky through the minefield that is the SEC Eastern Division. Every team is Kentucky’s division is in the hunt. Three games separate seven teams. Entering weekend action, Kentucky was two games behind first-place Florida.

Reed will also have to deal with the increased attention his two-way exploits will no doubt bring. In a way, Reed dealt with it on a smaller scale before. During his senior season at South, there was constant speculation about whether he’d go to Kentucky as planned or sign with whomever drafted him. Reed can fall back on that experience to a degree, but it wasn’t the same.

“I didn’t really know much about [the draft] then. My senior year it was a whole different process,” Reed said.

There’s plenty of opportunity for Reed to improve his draft stock. Continued production at the level he’s done so far this season is one obvious way to do it, but so is leading his team to postseason glory. A solid run at the arch-competitive SEC Tournament or leading Kentucky out of a regional could do the trick.

Not that Reed is going to try to force the issue.

“[The draft] is something I try not to think about too much. I know what I do on the field will influence the draft and it will take care of itself,” Reed said.

Right now Reed is taking care of business.

Where Reed ranks nationally

Here’s a list of various categories where A.J. Reed ranks in top 5 nationally:

Home runs

1. A.J. Reed    Kentucky    14

1. Michael Katz    William & Mary    14

3. Nic Wilson    Georgia State    12

4. Brandon Thompson    Tennessee Tech    11

4. Zach Stephens    Tennessee Tech    11

RBI

1. Michael Katz    William & Mary    64

2. A.J. Reed    Kentucky    48

3. Derek Gibson    SEMO    46

4. Brandon Thompson    Tennessee Tech    45

4. Chase Harris    New Mexico    45

Slugging

1. Michael Katz    William & Mary    .790

2. A.J. Reed    Kentucky    .754

3. Caleb Adams    La-Lafayette    .730

4. Ryan Seiz    Liberty    .719

5. Nik Wilson    Georgia State    .711

OPS

1. Michael Katz    William & Mary    1.271

2. A.J. Reed    Kentucky    1.248

3. Caleb Adams    La.-Lafayette    1.220

4. Ryan Seiz    Liberty    1.216

5. Nick Thompson    William & Mary    1.190

Total bases

1. Michael Katz    William & Mary    124

2. Ryan Seiz    Liberty    110

3. Brandon Thompson    Tenn. Tech    105

4. A.J. Reed    Kentucky    104

5. Nick Thompson    William & Mary    101

 

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