TROY, N.Y. – The Tri-City ValleyCats have a crop of new, young talent on their roster this year, including the 2014 SEC Player of the Year.
AJ Reed is starting to hit his stride as a professional baseball player, but he had to give up one of the aspects of his game that made him the Collegiate National Baseball Player of the Year.
In his senior season at the University of Kentucky, the first baseman was a force to be reckoned with at the plate and on the mound. He led the Wildcats in homeruns, batting average, RBIs and on base percentage and walks.
Reed also led the team in wins, strikeouts and innings pitch. He was then drafted by the Houston Astros with their second overall pick but solely as a first baseman.
“It’s just kind of a little bit of a relief for my mind,” Reed said. “I just have to really focus on one.”
But that one thing – hitting – hasn’t come as easy, yet.
“I’ve kind of struggled a little bit so far, but I think that’s just getting used to the wooden bats,” he said. “I haven’t hit with wood very much in my life.”
But the two-way college player is starting to heat up as a one-way player in the pros blasting his first homerun this week.