A.J. Reed is having a pretty good year.
The Houston Astrosʼ second round selection from this yearʼs Major League Baseball Draft was awarded the Golden Spikes Award, as per USA Baseball on Thursday. The honor, which is bestowed on the best amateur player in the country, is voted on by over 200 panel members, sponsored by the MLB Playersʼ Association and is actually in its thirty-seventh year of being awarded. Reed, a left-handed first baseman, was presented with the award on ESPNʼs program SportsCenter hours after USA Baseball made the announcement.
Through 28 games with the Astros Class A Short Season affiliate, the Tri-City ValleyCats, Reed has been batting .311 with nine doubles, three home runs, 22 RBI and a .900 OPS.
Hailing from the University of Kentucky, Reed acted as the Wildcatsʼ starting Friday night pitcher, and was 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA this year. This season, the lefty led all of Division I in homers (23), slugging percentage (.735), and OPS (1.211), while batting .336. He was second in total overall bases (164) and third in RBI (73). He is the first Golden Spikes Award winner in Wildcats history.
No stranger to honors, earlier this year Reed also received the Dick Howser Award, and was named Collegiate Baseballʼs National Player of the Year, Baseball America College Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Year and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. He was also named a first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA and Baseball America.
Reed is in good company; winners of the Golden Spikes Award have had a great track record as of late. Since 2007, winners have included David Price, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Trevor Bauer, Mike Zunino and Kris Bryant.
Clocking in at 6ʼ4” and 240 pounds, Reed beat out fellow finalists Michael Conforto of Oregon Sate and Aaron Nola of LSU.