Ex-Cats

Former UK star AJ Reed named Astros' minor league player of the year

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 was named the Houston Astros' minor league player of the year on Friday.

He and right-hander Joe Musgrove, the club's minor league pitcher of the year, will be recognized in a ceremony before Saturday's 1:05 p.m. game against the Texas Rangers.

Reed led all of minor league baseball in home runs (34), RBI (127), runs scored (113), slugging percentage (.612) and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.044) while splitting the season between Class A Advanced Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi.

"It's been a great year," Reed told MiLB.com earlier this month. "I've had so much fun, especially playing with the guys I've gotten to play with in Lancaster and here in Corpus. 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."

The first pick of the second round by Houston in the 2014 draft, Reed was named the Class A Advanced California League's Most Valuable Player. He is ranked No. 5 by MLB.com among Astros prospects.

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

"AJ quickly established himself as a professional hitter with big-time power in his first full season in the minors," Astros director of player development Quinton McCracken said in a report on MLB.com.

"After a modest start to his first month in Lancaster, AJ really found his stroke at the plate and hasn't stopped hitting for average and power since. We feel he's only scratching the surface of his offensive and defensive potential."

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