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AJ Reed wins Olerud Two-way Player of the Year Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. In the midst of seeking to become just the third unanimous national player of the year in Southeastern Conference history, Kentucky’s AJ Reed has been named the winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, it was announced by the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon.

Reed put together one of the finest seasons in the history of college baseball in 2014, winning the Dick Howser Trophy, Baseball America’s College Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year and the American Baseball Coaches Association National Player of the Year. He is also a consensus first-team All-America honoree, earning accolades from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Louisville Slugger, the ABCA, Perfect Game and Baseball America.

Reed is just the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award shy of becoming the third unanimous national player of the year in SEC history, joining David Price (2007) and Dave Magadan (1983). The Golden Spikes Award will be announced on July 17 in Los Angeles, with Reed and fellow finalists Michael Conforto (Oregon State) and Aaron Nola (LSU) scheduled to attend.

A 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman, Reed’s 2014 season can be compared with few in the history of the sport, with his nearest comparison in the game coming in the form of the award’s namesake, John Olerud. While starring for Washington State in 1988, Olerud hit a staggering .464 with 23 homers and 81 RBI, also sporting a staggering 15-0 record and a 2.49 ERA, despite playing in a lively bat era.

Reed’s 2014 season earns a comparison to Olerud, despite playing in the dead-bat era, with the Terre Haute, Ind., native finishing the year as the NCAA leader in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211). He became the first player in SEC history to lead the conference in homers and pitching wins, while going 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA on the mound and was the first player in league history to hit over 20 homers in the BBCOR era.

Reed finished the year with a .336 average – narrowly missing the second triple crown in SEC history – with a conference best 23 homers and 73 RBI. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.476), total bases (164) and walks (49), while adding 60 runs, 18 doubles and one triple. On the mound, Reed shined as UK’s Friday night ace for a second consecutive season, posting the second-most wins in program history, while starting 16 games. He hurled 112 innings, walking just 29 and striking out 71.

The first pick of the second round in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, Reed finished his decorated UK career with a .306 average in 172 games, slugging 35 doubles, three triples, 40 homers and 168 RBI. On the mound, Reed finished with a 19-13 record and a 2.83 ERA in his 46-game UK career, tossing 248 innings.

The Olerud Award will be presented on Saturday at the College Baseball Hall of Fame annual Night of Champions event in Luboock, Texas. UK baseball head coach Gary Henderson and Reed’s mother, Debbie, will be on hand for the presentation. Reed, whose experience with wood bats is fairly limited after primarily pitching during his two summers in the Cape Cod League, is 11 games into his professional career while playing in the New York-Penn League with the Tri-City Valley Cats. He is riding a six-game hitting streak, with three doubles, five RBI and nine walks.

Notable Two-Way Seasons in NCAA History
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Dave Winfield, Minnesota
1973: 9-1, 2.74 ERA, 82 IP, 109 SO … .385, 33 RBI, 130 at-bats

John Olerud, Minnesota
1988: .464, 23 HR, 81 RBI, 108 hits, 204 total bases, .876 SLG … 15-0, 113 SO, 2.49 ERA

Brooks Kieschnick, Texas
1992: .345/.442/.609, 46 R, 68 H, 20 2B, 10 HR, 68 RBI … 11-3, 3.13 ERA, 115 IP, 100 H, 25 BB, 81 SO
1993: .374/.498/.708, 76 R, 96 H, 27 2B, 19 HR, 81 RBI … 16-4, 3.25 ERA, 3 SV, 149.2 IP, 49 BB, 126 SO

Todd Helton, Tennessee
1995: .407/.520/.775, 20 HR, 92 RBI, 105 H, 27 2B, 4 3B, 61 BB, 24 SO … 8-2, 1.66 ERA, 12 SV, 76 IP, 48 H, 15 BB, 74 SO

Tim Hudson, Auburn
1997: 15-2, 2.97 ERA, 118 IP, 87 H, 50 BB, 165 SO … .396/.430/.670, 71 R, 108 H, 21 2B, 18 HR, 95 RBI

Brad Wilkerson, Florida
1996: .407/.547/.635, 22 2B, 9 HR, 68 RBI, 14 SB, 76 BB, 34 SO … 5-2, 3.00 ERA, 30 APP, 6 SV, 63 IP, 67 SO
1997: .386/.508/.767, 15 2B, 23 HR, 76 RBI, 11 SB, 63 BB, 35 SO … 11-4, 4.56 ERA, 26 APP, 7 GS, 4 SV, 79 IP, 89 SO
1998: .347/.538/.743, 13 2B, 23 HR, 70 RBI, 21 SB, 85 BB, 29 SO … 10-5, 4.98 ERA, 19 GS, 123 IP, 69 BB, 136 SO

Stephen Head, Ole Miss
2005: 7-3, 2.52 ERA, 23 APP, 7 GS, 8 SV, 82 IP, 26 BB, 75 SO … .333/.407/.603,
89-for-267, 64 R, 16 2B, 3B, 18 HR, 68 RBI

Brian Johnson, Florida
2012: 8-5, 3.90 ERA, 17 GS, 90 IP, 18 BB, 73 SO … .307/.350/.460, 13 2B, 6 HR, 41 RBI,
11 BB, 34 SO

AJ Reed, Kentucky
2014: 12-2, 2.009 ERA, 16 GS, 112 IP, 29 BB, 71 SO … .336/.476/.735, 75-for-223, 60 R, 18 2B, 3B, 23 HR, 73 RBI, 49 BB, 48 SO


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