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Cousino, Reed preseason All-America

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky junior centerfielder Austin Cousino and junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed have been named preseason All-America by Baseball America, it was announced on Monday afternoon.

Reed was named first-team as the utility player, marking the first player in Kentucky history to earn a first-team preseason All-America accolade by Baseball America, with complete records dating back to 1999. Cousino, who was named second-team preseason All-America by Baseball America in 2012, was named to the third team.

Reed, who has also been named a preseason All-American by Perfect Game and Louisville Slugger, and Cousino, are the first players in Kentucky history to earn preseason All-America honors in consecutive seasons.

Baseball America’s preseason All-America team is selected annually by polling major league scouting directors to make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential. In the past, the preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success, with 11 members of last year’s preseason teams going on to become first-round picks, and two others were taken in the supplemental first round.

Baseball America also ranked the top 50 prospects in each collegiate class as part of its extensive college preseason preview. UK right-hander Kyle Cody was rated as the seventh-best sophomore in the NCAA and infielder Connor Heady was rated as the 38th-best freshman in college baseball.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed is coming off a first-team All-Southeastern Conference season as the first player in school history to serve as UK’s Friday night starter and No. 3 and No. 4 hitter. He led UK and ranked fourth in the SEC in home runs (13) and RBI (52) as a sophomore, a year after becoming the first consensus first-team freshman All-America selection in school history.

Reed, a 24th round selection in the 2011 MLB Draft as the Indiana High School Player of the Year, hit .280 (60-for-214) as a sophomore in 2013, with 30 runs, eight doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 52 RBI, slugging .519 and owning a .378 on-base percentage. On the mound, Reed was the hard-luck starting pitcher as UK’s Friday night starter, owning a 2-8 mark with a 4.04 ERA in 82.1 innings, striking out 52 and walking 15. He got a staff low in run support (4.42 runs per game) in his 14 starts and entered his last two outings of 2013 owning a 2.84 ERA through 12 starts.

A 6-foor-4, 240-pound southpaw, Reed then played with the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League and as a member of the trial roster for the USA Collegiate National Team, where he teamed with Cousino. In 2012, Reed hit .300 (60-for-200) with four homers and 43 RBI, owning a 5-3 record and a 2.52 ERA in 53.2 innings on the mound. In his two-year UK career, Reed has hit .290 (120-for-414) with 17 doubles, two triples, 17 homers and 95 RBI and has a 7-11 record on the mound with a 3.44 ERA in 136 innings, striking out 103 and walking just 24.

A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino’s preseason All-America accolade in 2014 was his first of the year, after he was named preseason All-America as a sophomore by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year, Cousino was named the preseason SEC Player of the Year entering 2013 by Baseball America.

A 5-10, 185-pound left-handed hitter, Cousino has hit .288 (103-for-469) over his two-year career, with 32 doubles, three triples, 15 homers and 68 RBI, stealing 29-of-31 bases and sporting a .396 on-base percentage. Cousino, who won the Rawlings Gold Glove in 2013 as the nation’s top defensive outfielder, became the first two-year member of the USA Collegiate National Team in school history in 2013. As a sophomore in 2013, Cousino hit .249 (52-for-209) with 12 doubles, one triple, six homers and 27 RBI, stealing 14 bases. In 2012, Cousino had a historic freshman season, leading UK with a .319 average (83-for-260) with 20 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 41 RBI, stealing 15 bags.

Kentucky opens the 2014 season vs. No. 1 Virginia on Feb. 14 at 12 p.m. ET in Wilmington, N.C. Fans can hear the game live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel on the call.

UK PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS (since 1999)
1999 – John Wilson, C
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball
2007 – Collin Cowgill, OF
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2007 – Sean Coughlin, C
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2007 – Greg Dombrowski, RHSP
- NCBWA
2010 – Chris Bisson, 2B
- Baseball America
2013 – Austin Cousino, OF
- Baseball America, Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2013 – Corey Littrell, LHSP
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2013 – A.J. Reed, UT
- NCBWA
2014 – A.J. Reed, UT
- Baseball America, Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game
2014 – Austin Cousino, OF
- Baseball America


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