After years of losing and collecting prospects like baseball cards, some of these prospects made their appearance on the Astros roster, but more are on the way. Houston’s three most anticipated prospects outside of Mark Appel have finally made it to the big leagues, and rightfully so. Some last year while others made it in 2015, who are they?
George Springer? Check!
Lance McCullers? Check!
Carlos Correa? Check!
With those three out of the farm, who is the next “can’t miss” prospect in an organization full of talent? Is it the #1 pick from 2013, Mark Appel? Or how about the superstar in the making, Brett Phillips? These could all be debated. However, one stands out. He resides in Lancaster (not for long), and that is A.J. Reed.
High School: (All High School Information was found at Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association
As a High School student in Indiana, A.J. Reed was phenomenal. How phenomenal?
Over the course of his four-year high school career, Reed ended up with: (Hitting stats)
And if that wasn’t enough: (Pitching Stats)
390 K in 260 IP
Safe to say it was obvious at that point he would be something special. Although being drafted by the New York Mets, Reed decided to wreak havoc at the University of Kentucky, and man did he ever!
College: (All college information was found at University of Kentucky’s website
Reed’s freshman year at Kentucky, he became the first freshman in the school’s history to be noted First Team Freshman All-American, and that was just the beginning.
After a slight decline in his sophomore season, Reed put together a historical Junior season, which caught the eye of the Houston Astros.With a slash line of .336/.475/.735 how could he not have?
Reed was the national leader in Home Runs with 23 while also heralding a ridiculous 12-2 record from the bump to go along with a 2.09 ERA and 71 punch outs. With a performance like that, he was able to rack up these awards following the season:
Golden Spikes Award
Dick Howser Trophy
John Olerud Award
SEC Player Of The Year
National Player of the Year (from both Collegiate Baseball and American Baseball Coaches Association)
Baseball America College Player of the Year
SEC Male Athlete of the Year (covering all collegiate sports)
Following his outstanding season at Kentucky, he was rewarded by being the 42nd player taken in the 2014 MLB Player Draft, by none other than the Houston Astros.
Initially, Reed seemed blocked. Jon Singleton had emerged as the #1 first base prospect in all of MiLB and it seemed like he was deemed the cornerstone before ever playing a single MLB game. Merely days before first putting on an Astros uniform, Singleton signed a controversial $10 million dollar deal.
Here we are, merely 1 year later, and things seem to be changing just a bit. With the Astros in need of another SP and Singleton’s early struggles, he seems like a prime candidate to be shipped elsewhere? But why could the Astros afford to do so?
Once again, A.J. Reed is raking. Coming into play today, Reed is leading all triple crown categories in the California League while posting a slash line of .33/.443/.619. To put Reed’s (league leading) 22 HR and 77 RBI into perspective, he is on a 162 game pace of 45 HR and 156 RBI, not to mention 115 walks.
While the 22-year-old still seems a year or so away, he will not make it easy on Luhnow to keep him out of an Astros uniform in the near future. Carlos Correa will be the face of this franchise for many years to come, but the man he throws the ball to could be just as important to the success of this franchise for a long time.
CTH’s Editor Eric Huysman interviewed Reed, you can find it here. Keeping Up With the Houston Astros Prospects: A.J. Reed
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