HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced today the signing of first baseman A.J. Reed, who was selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft. The Astros also announced that they have agreed to terms with RHP Ryan Thompson (23rd round), RHP Vince Wheeland (24th round), LHP Zach Davis (25th round), IF Mott Hyde (26th round), RHP Brandon McNitt (27th round) and RHP Keegan Yuhl (35th round). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The official announcement was made by Astros Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Elias.
The 21-year-old Reed (6-4, 240) led the NCAA in home runs (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211) as a junior at the University of Kentucky. He also hit .336 (75x223) this season with 18 doubles, 73 RBI and a .476 on-base percentage. Reed walked 49 times in 2014 and struck out just 48 times.
A two-way player in college, Reed was also Kentucky's Friday night starter and led the SEC with 12 wins. He was the Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, the SEC Player of the Year and is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the best collegiate baseball player in the country.
"AJ Reed was one of the best college bats in the draft this year, and his accomplishments speak for themselves", said Elias. "What impresses us most with AJ is his ability to use his power to both fields, his defensive prowess at first base, and the enthusiasm with which he plays the game. He's going to be a fun player to watch and should immediately establish himself as one of our top power prospects in the minors."
Signed Draft Picks from the Astros 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft
Rnd (Pick) Player School Ht/Wt Date Signed
2 (42) 1B A.J. Reed Kentucky 6-4/240 6/11
23 (676) RHP Ryan Thompson Campbell University 6-5/215 6/11
24 (706) RHP Vince Wheeland Oklahoma State 5-11/190 6/11
25 (736) LHP Zach Davis Central Missouri 6-3/220 6/11
26 (766) IF Mott Hyde Georgia Tech 5-10/190 6/11
27 (796) RHP Brandon McNitt SUNY Stony Brook 5-11/175 6/11
35 (1036) RHP Keegan Yuhl Concordia 6-0/220 6/11