aj reedLEXINGTON, Ky. (12/23/13) - Coming off a first-team All-Southeastern Conference season as Kentucky's Friday-night starter on the mound and leading run producer at the plate, junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been tabbed third-team preseason All-America by Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed was named to the third-team as a utility performer but was the only two-way player selected to the three teams that serves as a weekend starter and not a late-inning relief pitcher. A 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, Reed is the first player in program history, with records dating back to 1999, to earn preseason All-America honors in consecutive seasons.

Reed is coming off a first-team All-SEC season in 2013, as UK's Friday-night starter and middle-of-the-order slugger, and as a member of the USA Collegiate National Team trial roster. In 2013, Reed led UK and ranked fourth in the SEC in homers (13) and RBI (52), just a year removed from becoming the first consensus first-team freshman All-America selection in school annals.

As a sophomore in 2013, Reed batted .280 (60-for-214) with 30 runs, eight doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 52 RBI, slugging .519 and owning a .378 on-base percentage. On the mound, Reed became the first player in program history to hit No. 3 and No. 4 in the order and serve as the Friday-night starter. He was the hard-luck starting pitcher in 2013, owning a 2-8 record with a 4.04 ERA in 82.1 innings, striking out 52 and walking just 15. He got a staff low in run support (4.43 runs per game) in his 14 starts and entered his last two starts on the year with a 2.84 ERA through 12 starts.

During the summer, Reed split time between the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League and as a member of the trial roster for the USA Collegiate National Team, where he teamed with UK star centerfielder Austin Cousino. Reed played in 20 games at the plate in the Cape and made five starts on the mound, also making one start for Team USA and playing in five games at the plate.

As a freshman in 2012, Reed was named a consensus first-team freshman All-America and was a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. He hit .300 (60-for-200) with four homers and 43 RBI, owning a 5-3 record and a 2.52 ERA in 53.2 innings on the mound. Reed had a heroic outing in UK's 21-inning 2012 NCAA Tournament opener vs. Kent State in scabrous Gary, Ind. He played the first 12 innings as the DH and first baseman, before pitching nine innings in relief, including heading back to the mound after getting thrown out at the plate, after cramping up on the third-base line, as the walk-off run in the bottom of the 19th inning.

In his two-year UK career, Reed has hit .290 (120-for-414) with 17 doubles, two triples, 17 homers and 95 RBI and has a 7-11 record on the mound with a 3.44 ERA in 136 innings, striking out 103 and walking just 24.

Kentucky will open its 2014 season on Feb. 14 in Wilmington, N.C., against Virginia at 12 p.m. ET.

UK PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS (since 1999)
1999 - John Wilson, C
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball
2007 - Collin Cowgill, OF
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2007 - Sean Coughlin, C
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2007 - Greg Dombrowski, RHSP
- NCBWA
2010 - Chris Bisson, 2B
- Baseball America
2013 - Austin Cousino, OF
- Baseball America, Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2013 - Corey Littrell, LHSP
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA
2013 - A.J. Reed, UT
- NCBWA
2014 - A.J. Reed, UT
- Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball

SurfKY News
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