Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed was selected in the second round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft late Thursday night.
Reed, a left-hander, was taken No. 42 overall by the Houston Astros, the first pick in the second round of the draft held in Secaucus, N.J.
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.
Reed is one of five finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by the Easton Foundation and given annually to the top player in college baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced Thursday morning.
Reed would be just the third Southeastern Conference player to earn consensus national player of the year honors. He has already won the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year.
Reed enjoyed one of the top seasons in the history of college baseball in 2014. He leads college baseball in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211), while ranking as the SEC leader in pitching victories (12).
The SEC named Reed its Player of the Year. He finished 2014 with a .336 average with 18 doubles, one triple, a SEC-best 73 RBI, 49 walks and a .476 on-base percentage.
As UK's Friday night starting pitcher, Reed posted a 12-2 record and a 2.09 ERA in 16 starts. He amassed the second-most innings (112) in UK single-season history.
Reed's and Kentucky's season ended Sunday in a 4-1 loss to Louisville in an NCAA regional tournament.
UK Coach Gary Henderson noted Reed's intelligence, diligence and sense of humor.
"He's got a self-deprecating side about him," Henderson said. "He's a fun kid to be around. ... He does what you ask him to do consistently."