LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft, going No. 42 overall to the Houston Astros, it was announced on MLB Network at Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., on Thursday night.
Announced as a first baseman, Reed is the highest draft pick for Kentucky since Alex Meyer went 23rd overall to the Washington Nationals in 2011. A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed is the eighth player in Kentucky history to be selected in the first or second rounds of the MLB Draft. Reed is the 34th player, and the 14th top-10 round pick, in the UK head coach Gary Henderson era to be selected in the MLB Draft or sign a free-agent contract.
A 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-handed hitter, Reed completed one of the most historic seasons in college baseball history in 2014, leading the nation in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211), while ranking as Southeastern Conference leader, and fourth in the NCAA, in pitching victories (12). Reed hit .336 with 18 doubles, one triple, 73 RBI, 49 walks and a .476 on-base percentage. Reed finished with a 2.09 ERA in 16 starts, working 112 innings, allowing 98 hits and 29 walks, striking out 71. He is the first player in the storied history of the SEC to rank as the league leader in wins and homers.
In his storied three-year career, Reed has charted a .306 average in 172 games, with 35 doubles, three triples, 40 homers and 168 RBI, with a .559 slugging and a .415 on-base percentage. On the mound, Reed – a first-team All-America selection – has a 19-13 record with a 2.83 ERA in 248 innings, allowing just 53 walks and striking out 174.
The 2014 SEC Player of the Year, Reed has rewritten the UK record book during his career. In UK’s single-season records, Reed ranks first in homers, third in RBI, fifth in total bases, sixth in slugging, second in walks, 13th in on-base percentage, ninth in hit by pitches (14), fifth in ERA, second in wins, third in winning percentage (.857), third in starts and third in innings pitched. In UK career history, Reed ranks second in homers, second in RBI, eighth in total bases, 12th in at-bats, 12th in walks (99), 11th in sacrifice flies (nine), 10th in hit by pitch (26), third in ERA, 10th in wins and 11th in innings pitched.
The Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year, Reed is seeking to become the third all-time SEC player to be named a unanimous national player of the year, joining Dave Magadan (1983) and David Price (2007). There are five major national player of the year awards in 2014: Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Golden Spikes Award, the Baseball America College Player of the Year, the American Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year and the Dick Howser Trophy.
The MLB Draft will resume on Friday and conclude on Saturday. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday.