LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been named one of 21 semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top collegiate player in the nation, it was announced by USA Baseball on Tuesday.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed is one of the top 21 players in the nation listed as semifinalists, with the finalists announced on June 3. Fans can now vote for the semifinalists online at GoldenSpikesAward.com and will fan voting will be open until Friday. The award is presented on July 17.
The second SEC Player of the Year in Kentucky history, Reed is one of three league players on the 21-player list, joining Ole Miss righty Chris Ellis and LSU right-hander Aaron Nola, the SEC Pitcher of the Year.
The NCAA leader in homers (23), slugging (.768) and OPS (1.259), Reed also ranks as the SEC leader in RBI (70), on-base percentage (.491), wins (11), walks (47) and total bases (162). He also ranks third in the SEC in average (.351), second in runs (59), eighth in doubles (17), ninth in hits (74) sixth in ERA (2.10), third in innings pitched (103.0) and ninth in strikeouts (68). Reed is currently .002 points shy of the SEC lead in batting average and is vying for the second triple crown in SEC history and the first since Rafael Palmeiro in 1984. No SEC player has ever led the conference in homers and pitching victories.
A 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, Reed has hit .310 in his 168-game UK career, with 34 doubles, three triples, 40 homers and 165 RBI. On the mound, Reed has an 18-13 record and the third-best ERA in UK career history (2.86), working 239 innings with 171 strikeouts.
USA Baseball officials will announce the list of finalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, June 3. To select the finalists, the list of semifinalists is sent to a voting body consisting of past Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the Golden Spikes Award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008). Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).
Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Daniel Gossett, RHP, Senior, Clemson
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Connor Joe, IF, Junior, San Diego
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia
Jordan Luplow, OF, Junior, Fresno State
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast
Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, Louisiana State
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
Josh Prevost, RHP, Senior, Seton Hall
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Drew Weeks, OF/IF, Junior, North Florida