Ex-Cats

Ex-Cat AJ Reed wins minor league baseball's home run and RBI titles

Houston Astros prospect AJ Reed led all of minor league baseball with 34 home runs and 127 RBI. (MiLB.com photo)
Houston Astros prospect AJ Reed led all of minor league baseball with 34 home runs and 127 RBI. (MiLB.com photo)

Former University of Kentucky star AJ Reed wrapped up a dominant first full regular season of minor league baseball on Monday.

He singled twice and drove in one run in Double-A Corpus Christi's 12-8 win over San Antonio.

Reed, a first baseman in the Houston Astros' organization, finished as the minor leagues' leader in home runs (34), RBI (127), slugging percentage (.612), on-base plus slugging percentage (1.044) and runs scored (113).

"It's been a great year," Reed, who finished with a .340 batting average, said in a report on MiLB.com. "I've had so much fun, especially playing with the guys I've gotten to play with in (Class A Advanced) Lancaster and here in Corpus (Christi). For me, the best part about it is getting to share it with those guys and the coaches and the people around it who are involved. Having a great year is awesome and everything, but what I look back on is getting to celebrate with these guys."

Reed started the season with Class A Advanced Lancaster, hitting .346, bashing 23 homers and driving in 81 runs in 82 games in the hitter-friendly California League.

But the promotion to Double-A did nothing to slow his progress. He batted .332 with 11 homers and 46 RBI.

"A big thing for me was not falling off at the end of the year, the last month or month-and-a-half," he said in the report on MiLB.com. "I just wanted to be able to prove with it being my first full year that I could play the whole year long, and they wouldn't have to worry about me getting tired at the end of the year."

He finished with two more home runs than Triple-A Tacoma's Jabari Blash and Class A Advanced Bakersfield's Tyler O'Neill, both Seattle Mariners prospects.

"The last month, I followed it pretty closely just because I was up there all year towards the top," Reed said. "That's something that I like to do, hit home runs. It gives your team a chance to win a game. I followed it, and I knew the guys who were in it. It was fun to be able to be a part of that."

Reed also finished second in the minors with 178 hits and tied for third with 70 extra-base hits.

Up next for Reed is the Texas League playoffs.

"We're going to go out there and play hard and everything, and now we get to relax because you don't have 140 games weighing on stats or anything like that," he said. "You're not worrying about average or anything. We're just worrying about winning games now. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to get the ring and that's what we're going for."

Corpus Christi hosts Midland on Wednesday in the opener of their best-of-5 semifinal series.

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