Congrats to UK pitcher/first baseman AJ Reed, who was named SEC Player of the Year this morning by the league’s coaches. Reed is the second player in Kentucky history to earn the honor, and the first UK player to receive back-to-back first team All-SEC accolades since Terry Shumpert in 1986-1987.
At this point, AJ’s stats are just ridiculous. He leads the NCAA in homers, slugging and OPS (1.259), and finished the regular season as the SEC leader in homers (23), RBI (70), wins (11), slugging (.768), on-base percentage (.491), total bases (162) and walks (47). He also ranks third in the SEC in average (.351), second in runs (59), ninth in hits (74), eighth in doubles (17), sixth in ERA (2.10), third in innings pitched (103.0) and ninth in strikeouts (68). In his three-year career, Reed has played in 168 games and hit .310 with 34 doubles, three triples, 40 homers and 165 RBI, while owning a 18-13 record and a 2.86 ERA in 239 innings on the mound. Good grief.
UK’s Ka’ai Tom, Max Kuhn, JaVon Shelby and Austin Cousino also earned All-SEC honors. Tom made the first team, Kuhn the second team, Shelby the All-SEC freshman team, and Cousino the All-SEC defensive team.
The Bat Cats will make their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, playing Kansas in the Louisville region at 2 p.m. Friday. If they win, they’ll advance to play the winner of Louisville/Kent State. The Cats have already beaten the Cards twice this season, and yesterday, AJ Reed said he’s ready for another crack at the Dirty Birds:
“We always look forward to playing Louisville in the regular season, and now to get to (potentially) play them in the postseason is going to be a lot of fun… We’re gonna be ready for it.”
Run and tell that, little brother.