Kentucky junior two-way star A.J. Reed has been name one of five finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundation and given annually to the top player in college baseball, it was announced on Thursday morning by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Reed, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., is one of the five finalists for the prestigious award, voted on by the NCBWA and announced on the opening day of the College World Series on June 14 in Omaha, Neb. Reed joins four other players as finalists for the award, joining Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto, LSU pitcher Aaron Nola, Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost and Oregson State pitcher Ben Wetzler.
Reed is seeking to become just the third all-time Southeastern Conference player to earn consensus national player of the year honors. Reed, who has already won the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year, is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. Among the five major national player of the year awards include Baseball America’s College Player of the Year and the American Baseball Coaches Association National Player of the Year.
A junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman, Reed had one of the top seasons in the history of college baseball in 2014. Reed, the 2014 SEC Player of the Year, leads college baseball in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211), while ranking as the SEC leader in pitching victories (12). Reed finished 2014 with a .336 average with 18 doubles, one triple, a SEC-best 73 RBI, 49 walks and a .476 on-base percentage. As UK’s Friday-night starter for the second consecutive season, Reed posted a 12-2 record and a 2.09 ERA in 16 starts, tossing the second-most innings (112) in UK single-season history, also ranking second in wins.