Instant Impressions: A.J. Reed

With the 42nd overall selection, the Astros picked a player dubbed the Babe Ruth of the SEC. What is his pro projection?

Coming into the year, AJ Reed was seen by many as a pitchability-focused left handed pitching prospect with a 88-92 MPH fastball and command, who also happened to moonlight as the Wildcats' first baseman. In 2014, though, he erupted with the bat, and that's what vaulted him into the second round where he was picked by the Astros.

Reed posted a gaudy .336/.476/.735 slash line for Kentucky, launching 23 home runs and smacking 18 doubles. He's likely to take home this year's Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top college baseball player after also putting together a 2.09 ERA and 12-2 record on the mound. There's no question that Reed is an absolute standout from a statistical standpoint.

From a scouting perspective, Reed holds up well. His left handed swing has the length expected from a power hitter, using all of his broad frame to explode through the ball with his lower half. His bat speed will play in pro ball, and the hit tool will support his true plus power as he moves up the ladder. Aside from his pop, Reed also offers superb plate discipline, as evidenced by his 48/49 K/BB ratio.

Reed is limited to first base defensively, and he may end up as a future DH as he doesn't project as a plus defender at that spot. However, the bat should play. Reed has the hitting talent to be a 5-hole hitter who can push for 30 home runs while posting a good OBP. His hit tool may only be a future average grade, but the rest of the offensive package is there. Jeff Luhnow and his team likely have him penciled in next to Jonathan Singleton in the batting order down the road. After getting a potential frontline starter in Aiken, the Astros have drafted a scout's dream in Derek Fisher and a statistical darling in Reed. This class has something for everyone so far.

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