...A.J. Reed, 1B/LHP from the University of Kentucky.
Reed has had a challenging upbringing, his sisters are more than ten years older than he is, and he has never known his father.
Reed led the NCAA in homers (23), SLG (.735), and OPS (1.211), while also leading the SEC in wins as a pitcher (12), RBI (73), OBP (.476), walks (49), and total bases (164).
This season he hit .336/.476/.735 with 48K:49BB and 23HR for the Wildcats, and was the SEC Baseball Player of the Year, as well as the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and a Golden Spikes Award Finalist. University of Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano:
The numbers he's put up in this conference, it's unbelievable. He's a National Player of the Year. I think he should walk away with almost all the awards.
Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard:
I've been in this league now around 15 years as an assistant and a head coach, and he's having as impressive a year as we've seen in a very long time on both sides. I think he's a guy we're going to cut the TV on here soon in big-league games and be watching him.
Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said that not even John Olerud (who won the National Two-Way Player of the Year Award) "put up those type of numbers - and put up those types of numbers in this league.
Reed was the first consensus first-team freshman All-American in school history, and was Baseball America's First-Half player of the year in 2014. Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson:
We're real fortunate to have him. He's changed his body, he's competing at a high level. No matter how well you're going, the game's going to present failure to you, and he's handling it well. He's got a real mature approach and perspective, so that part has been good.
Reed joins David Price, Dave Magadan, Will Clark, Tim Hudson, and Todd Helton as SEC Players of the Year