Former UK baseball star AJ Reed, the Southeastern Conference's player of the year who has also won several national player of the year awards, made his minor-league debut for the Houston Astros' short-season Class A affiliate, the Tri-City ValleyCats, on Monday night.
Reed didn't get a hit — he was 0-for-2 — but he spent a lot of time on the basepaths after getting walked once, hit by pitch and intentionally walked. He stole a base and scored the tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game Tri-City went on to win 4-3 against Lowell.
Reed's intentional walk came with two outs and one runner on base in the bottom of the ninth inning. Tri-City went on to win on a bases-loaded walk.
“I thought they were going to throw to me,” Reed told The Record of Troy, N.Y. “I figured in pro ball, they’d go ahead and do that, especially at this level. It’s all right. We got the win and that’s what matters. It’s just exciting to have a game like that and an ending like that.”
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Reed also talked to The Record about the run he scored that tied the game at 3-all in the eighth.
“My job there, leading off that inning, is to get on base," Reed said. "I did that and manufactured a run, so it’s good to be able to do that. We got some runs today without getting hits.”
■ Ex-Cat Austin Cousino, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners, also made his minor-league debut Monday and he hit a solo home run in his second at-bat for the short-season Class A Everett AquaSox. Cousino finished 1-for-4 in a 7-3 loss to Hillsboro.
■ Another former Bat Cat, infielder Matt Reida, was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday after the team purchased his contract from the independent Frontier League's River City Rascals.
Reida, who went undrafted earlier this month, had only been with River City for two games.