First baseman A.J. Reed, who led the NCAA Division I ranks with 23 home runs this spring, hit his first professional home run Monday, helping short-season Tri-City defeat Vermont, 5-3.
Reed's home run was a solo blast to center field off left-hander Michael Fagan in the eighth inning. Reed finished the night 1-for-5.
The Astros selected Reed with the first pick of the second round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. He was a two-way player at Kentucky, serving as the team's ace and first baseman. While he won the Dick Howser Trophy for being the best player in college baseball because he excelled in both roles, scouts this spring were most interested in his powerful bat. He hit .336/.476/.735 and drove in 73 runs in 62 games for the Wildcats. He drew 49 walks and struck out 48 times.
Reed quickly signed with the Astros after Kentucky's season ended in the NCAA tournament. They sent him directly to Tri-City and, in 15 games with the ValleyCats, he is hitting .241/.371/.362 with 11 walks and 11 strikeouts.