Houston Astros Fans Like A.J. Reed and so does MLB Pipeline!
Only a short time ago the Houston Astros had the #1 prospect in all of baseball, Carlos Correa, and I would say he has panned out rather nicely. Now, heading into 2016, the Astros have the top first baseman prospect in the minors, which is critical as it is one of the few positions in which Houston doesn’t have a sure answer.
MLB Pipeline named the Astros’ A.J. Reed as the #1 prospect in all the minor leagues. Why you may ask. Well, the 22-year-old hit 34 long balls, drove in 127 runs and yielded an incredible slash line of .340/.432/.612. In his first full minor league season, Reed led all of the minor leagues in runs, home runs, runs batted in, total bases, and OPS (on base + slugging).
Winning the College Player of the year last season with Kentucky was just the start, as he won the California League MVP, Astros Offensive player of the year, along with the MiLB offensive player of the year award, the same one won by some guy named Kris Bryant last season.
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You might remember Jon Singleton was also ranked the #1 first baseman prospect shortly after the Astros received him from the Phillies, and he has yet to pan out like expected. To me, something is different with Reed. It’s not just about the minor league production difference (which is definitely there), but more of the fact that he did it in college as well.
Of course, the Astros know good and well that drafting players out of High School can pay off (Carlos Correa), but you don’t see many Carlos Correa’s or Bryce Harper‘s in High School. Some freaks of nature can go from High School to professional baseball without skipping a beat. However, I believe in MOST cases, a college bat is more trustworthy.
Fans of the Astros have hoped for stability at first base, and it looks like they have the guy who can provide that for them. When will we see Reed in an Astros uniform is the question everyone is wondering. I don’t think he will start the season in Houston, but it won’t take him long to get there.
I believe that by the end of the 2016 season, Reed might make it three substantial awards in 3 years. There is a real chance that the Rookie of the Year award will stay home for at least one more season.
**Rankings from MLB Pipeline, part of MLB.com**