aj-reed runA.J. Reed (Photo courtesy UK Athletics)LEXINGTON, Ky. (7/17/14) — Kentucky two-way star AJ Reed has been selected as the 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation by USA Baseball, making Reed a unanimous pick as the national player of the year, it was announced Thursday in Los Angeles during ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Reed’s clean sweep of the 2014 national player of the year awards includes the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Baseball America College Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year and the American Baseball Coaches Association National Player of the Year awards. In addition, Reed was named the Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, and the winner of the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.

A 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman, Reed now becomes the third all-time SEC player to earn unanimous national player of the year honors, joining Dave Magadan (1983) and David Price (2007). Reed is the sixth SEC great to win the Golden Spikes Award and the first since Florida catcher Mike Zunino.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed edged three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto and LSU right-hander Aaron Nola, the 2014 SEC Pitcher of the Year.

Reed charted one of the top seasons in the history of college baseball in 2014, finishing the year as the NCAA leader in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211). He became the first player in SEC history to lead the conference in homers and pitching wins, while going 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA on the mound and was the first player in league history to hit over 20 homers in the BBCOR era.

Reed finished the year with a .336 average – narrowly missing the second triple crown in SEC history – with a conference best 23 homers and 73 RBI. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.476), total bases (164) and walks (49), while adding 60 runs, 18 doubles and one triple. On the mound, Reed was UK’s Friday-night ace for a second straight campaign, posting the second-most wins in Kentucky history, while starting 16 games. He hurled 112 innings, walking just 29 and striking out 71.

A consensus first-team All-America selection in 2014, Reed finished his record-setting UK career with a .306 average in 172 games, slugging 35 doubles, three triples, 40 homers and 168 RBI. On the mound, Reed finished with a 19-13 record and a 2.83 ERA in his 46-game UK career, tossing 248 innings.

The Golden Spikes Award has been presented by USA Baseball since 1978 to honor the top amateur baseball player in the nation. The award is sponsored by Major League Baseball and is presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. The award began with a list of over 200 candidates for the award, before a 60 man preseason watch list was announced on NCAA opening day. The list was whittled from 50 to 30, before the semifinalists were announced May 27 and the three finalists announced June 3, with voting concluded June 13.

The first pick of the second round in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, Reed has hit .311 (32-for-103) in his professional debut in the New York-Penn League. Reed, the NY-Penn League Player of the Week, has belted nine doubles and three homers in his first 28 games, with a .415 on-base percentage and 22 RBI, sporting a 17-16 walk-strikeout ratio.

Golden Spikes Award Winners

  • 1978: Bob Horner Arizona State University
  • 1979: Tim Wallach, Cal State Fullerton
  • 1980: Terry Francona, University of Arizona
  • 1981: Mike Fuentes, Florida State University
  • 1982: Augie Schmidt, University of New Orleans
  • 1983: Dave Magadan, University of Alabama
  • 1984: Oddibe McDowell, Arizona State University
  • 1985: Will Clark, Mississippi State University
  • 1986: Mike Loynd, Florida State University
  • 1987: Jim Abbott, University of Michigan
  • 1988: Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State University
  • 1989: Ben McDonald, LSU
  • 1990: Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College
  • 1991: Mike Kelly, Arizona State University
  • 1992: Phil Nevin, Cal State Fullerton
  • 1993: Darren Dreifort, Wichita State University
  • 1994: Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech
  • 1995: Mark Kotsay, Cal State Fullerton
  • 1996: Travis Lee, San Diego State University
  • 1997: J.D. Drew, Florida State University
  • 1998: Pat Burrell, University of Miami
  • 1999: Jason Jennings, Baylor University
  • 2000: Kip Bouknight, University of South Carolina
  • 2001: Mark Prior, University of Southern California
  • 2002: Khalil Greene, Clemson University
  • 2003: Rickie Weeks, Southern University
  • 2004: Jered Weaver, Long Beach State University
  • 2005: Alex Gordon, University of Nebraska
  • 2006: Tim Lincecum, University of Washington
  • 2007: David Price, Vanderbilt University
  • 2008: Buster Posey, Florida State University
  • 2009: Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State University
  • 2010: Bryce Harper, College of Southern Nevada
  • 2011: Trevor Bauer, UCLA
  • 2012: Mike Zunino, University of Florida
  • 2013: Kris Bryant, University of San Diego
  • 2014: AJ Reed, University of Kentucky

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Posted on 2/2/14
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