Terre Haute native A.J. Reed has found a new home to try to realize his Major League Baseball dream.
The Chicago White Sox claimed Reed off waivers from the Houston Astros on Monday. Reed was assigned to Chicago's Triple-A team at Charlotte.
The Astros — who drafted Reed in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft — designated Reed for assignment on July 2. The Astros had seven days to complete a trade or Reed would have been placed on irrevocable waivers.
After being one of Houston's most prized hitting prospects, Reed — who plays first base — gradually fell out of favor. He played 45 games for the Astros in 2016 — with 3 HR and 8 RBI — but he's only played in three games for Houston since.
Reed, 26, has maintained his power as he's hit 135 home runs at the minor league level — including 12 for Houston's Triple-A team at Round Rock this season. Reed is two years removed from a 34 HR, 104 RBI performance at Fresno. In 2018, he had a career-high 108 RBI at Fresno.
However, Reed's batting average has dipped from a high of .291 at the Triple-A level to .224 this season. Reed's current OPS is .798 — a career low at the Triple-A level.
Another issue for Reed is that there's no place for him at the big league level on the Astros. Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White have solidified Houston's first base playing time.
What the White Sox get in Reed is a power prospect who can draw walks. Jose Abreu (21 HR, 66 RBI) is not likely to be shaken from the first base spot, but Yonder Alonso (.178, 7 HR, 27 RBI) has struggled at designated hitter and it could open an opportunity for Reed.
Reed becomes the latest player with a Wabash Valley connection to join the White Sox organization.
Current Oakland Athletics catcher Josh Phegley — who played at Terre Haute North — started his Major League career on the south side of Chicago in 2013. Indiana State has had alums Jake Petricka and Brian Omogrosso pitch for the White Sox in the last decade and since 2004? Seven former ISU players were taken by the White Sox, including local players Nick Ciolli and Brady Shoemaker. The most famous area White Sox alum is Terre Haute's Tommy John, who played for the White Sox from 1965-71.
To make room for Reed on the 40-man roster, the White Sox moved Ryan Burr to the 60-day injured list.