Astros Minors: The Astros shut A.J. Reed down for Arizona Fall League
The Houston Astros are all about protecting their top prospects, as evident by the way they handled the Vincent Velasquez and Lance McCullers innings limits in 2015. After a monster year in the Astros minors, A.J. Reed played more baseball than he has ever played in his second season in professional baseball. Not only did Reed play the most games he has ever played, but he also took home many minor league honors playing for the Lancaster JetHawks and Corpus Christi Hooks in 2015.
Reed was a two-way player for the University of Kentucky as he played first base and pitcher. Many teams were looking at Reed as a pitcher, but the Astros made it clear that he was to play first base, and his days on the mound were over. They liked his raw power as a left-handed hitter more than his 93+ mph fastball. He has since justified the Astros faith in him with his MiLB offensive player of the year at the MiLBY’s awards. Some people raised an eyebrow when it was announced that he was going to play in the Arizona Fall League.
Why have someone who just had a year like Reed did play fall ball? Many people assumed that it was to get some more experience to get him ready, but a Tweet, today from Astros beat writer Evan Drellich, offered a different reason.
The last sentence in the Tweet was curious to me, did the Houston Astros play Reed in fall ball to just keep him in shape, so he does not come to spring training heavy again? Reed has struggled a little in fall ball, could it be that he has just run out of gas. When I heard that Reed was removed from the roster, and I tried to find out why, then remembering talk of him being exhausted. At the time of this writing, no injury has been reported, just rest.
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Reed had just been named to the AFL Fall Stars Roster after 11 games before an announcement came that he was to be shut down. He batted .231/ 1 home run/ 6 RBI. In route to winning the MiLB offensive player of the year, Reed hit .340/ 113 runs/ 34 home runs/ 127 RBI (Stats via MiLB.com). I wrote earlier that Reed’s stats in the minors compare to Paul Goldschmidt, you can read it here: After further review, the Houston Astros’ first baseman A.J. Reed is pretty good.
Astros fans should not worry about him being sent home early from the AFL; it’s just the Astros recognizing that he was tired. In 2014, Reed played 68 professional games after playing at Kentucky. This season, he played in 134 MiLB games plus 11 AFL games. You can see him hitting a wall like Carlos Correa did for a while playing his most games with the Astros. The Astros could be building up his stamina to play an MLB 162 game schedule eventually.
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As for Reed in 2016, I see Reed being called up around the same time that Correa did in June this year. Rest up A.J., you have an exciting baseball life with the Houston Astros for a while.