People wanted a true power bat for the Astros system. Well here he is. A lot of experts thought A.J. Reed would be drafted in the 20's of the first round, much less make it through the comp round. To fall to 2-1 makes him a very good value.
He was the Wildcats Friday night starter and topped out in the low 90's from the left side. But, his place is at the plate where he crushes baseballs.
This guy has the most raw power in the draft. AND IT'S FROM THE LEFT SIDE!
Reed is another raw college talent compared to his peers. He has yet to concentrate on one side of baseball which has delayed his ability to refine either side. In the system, he will be a hitter and be able to truly refine his approach and hitting mechanics. He's already seen good leaps forward this season at the plate.
He's been able to hit for a .336 batting average with 48 strikeouts and 49 walks in 223 at-bats. But, the impressive part is that he hit 23 home runs. While his power hasn't shown 70/75 grade power, just 60/65 in games, he has the raw power of a 70/75 power hitter.
Although, he's limited defensively because he's a very slow runner. You would like to try out that arm in LF, but the it is doubtful that he has the mobility to do so. I mean 6'4", 240 pounds is a lot of man to move.
You just can't ignore a left-handed bat with his kind of raw power that should have been drafted in the 20's pass you up at pick 42.
Mike Hessman? Minor league home run leader with the ability to be a DH?
First baseman who wins the annual home run derby? Seriously, he's probably a .270-.280 hitter at best with easy 30+ home runs. If he's able to make enough contact, he has the raw power to get close to 40 home runs, but it would have to come with better contact. But, would anyone really complain about a first baseman with a .350+OBP and 35 home runs?
Will he sign?
He should. There's not a lot more to prove in college and he'll continue to slowly progress at Kentucky since he would continue to pitch. He needs to focus on the plate and hit now.
The Mets took Reed as a left-handed pitcher in the 25th round of the 2011 Draft out of an Indiana high school. He since has developed into Kentucky's No. 1 starter and won six of his first eight starts this spring. Yet he's unlikely to ever take the mound as a pro. That's because Reed is even more talented at the plate. His kind of left-handed power is difficult to find, and he's more than just a masher. He has made significant strides as a hitter, making more consistent hard contact without sacrificing any pop. Reed doesn't run well enough to play a position other than first base, but he has a strong arm and plays solid defense. As a pitcher, he works mostly with an 88-92 mph fastball and a slurvy curveball.