A.J. Reed (Photo by Brett Coomer-Houston Chronicle)
Since getting drafted by the Houston Astros earlier in the summer, first baseman A.J. Reed has been crushing the ball in the minor leagues. The powerful first baseman from Kentucky has put up huge numbers while spending time with the Tri-City Valleycats and Quad Cities River Bandits the last couple months. Here’s a look at his numbers:
"Tri-City: .306/.420/.516 with five home runs, 30 RBIs, 11 doubles, 22 walks, 22 strikeouts, 38 hits, and 22 runs scored in 34 games (124 at-bats.)Quad Cities: .274/.331/.547 with seven home runs, 23 RBIs, nine doubles, a triple, 8 walks, 30 strikeouts, 32 hits, and 20 runs scored in 32 games (117 at-bats)."
Last night for the Bandits, Reed was 3 for 5 with one home run, one double and three RBIs. In his last 10 games, he is hitting .375 with 3 home runs, five doubles, 11 RBIs, and nine runs scored. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound lefty is ranked as the Astros 15th best prospect and the fifth best first baseman in the country.
The 21-year-old was drafted in the second round (42nd overall) in the MLB Draft. His two-way play helped him win the 2014 Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur player in the country. He led NCAA Division I in home runs (23), slugging percentage (.735) and OPS (1.211), while also leading the SEC in RBIs (73), on-base percentage (.476), walks (49) and total bases (164). He was named the SEC Player of the Year and Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year.
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Reed, who signed for $1.35 million on June 11th, will move up the Astros system quickly if he continues to put up huge numbers. He has been playing first base and DH for the Bandits while the Astros are still in the process of evaluating Jon Singleton. I think Reed could start next season with the Lancaster JetHawks and move up to Corpus Christi by end of 2015.
The Astros have already let Reed take batting practice at Minute Maid Park with the major league team. They don’t want to rush him through their system, but he may not give them a choice if he keeps crushing the ball. Although I’m more confident in Singleton than most fans, his slow start with the Astros gives me some doubt about his future at first base. However, the Astros don’t have to be concerned about that position anymore because A.J. Reed is making his way to the big leagues quicker than anybody expected.