Collegiate Baseball named Kentucky's junior pitcher/first baseman as its choice on Thursday, making Reed the first player in UK history to earn national player of the year honors.
Reed, who leads Kentucky into the NCAA Tournament on Friday against Kansas in the Louisville Regional, has batted .351 with an NCAA-high 23 home runs, an SEC-leading 70 RBI and gaudy slugging (.768) and OPS (1.259) figures that also lead the NCAA. On the mound, the left-hander has posted an 11-2 record and a 2.10 ERA.
He becomes the 13th player in SEC history to earn national player of the year accolades. There are five major national player of the year honors, including the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the National College Baseball Writers Association's Dick Howser Trophy and awards from Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association also crowing a winner.
Reed is seeking to be the first consensus national player of the year from the SEC since Vanderbilt's David Price in 2007 and only the third in league history along with Alabama's Dave Magadan in 1983.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed joins SEC legends Magadan, Price, Will Clark (1985), Derick Lilliquist (1987), Ben McDonald (1989), Lloyd Peever (1992), Todd Helton (1995), Tim Hudson (1997), Brad Wilkerson (1998), Eddy Furniss (1998), Kip Bouknight (2000) and Mike Zunino (2012) as national players of the year in the conference.COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NCAA PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
2014: LHP/1B A.J. Reed, Kentucky
2013: 3B Kris Bryant, San Diego
2012: RHP Nick Petree, Missouri St.
2011: RHP Trevor Bauer, UCLA
2010: LHP Chris Sale, Florida Gulf Coast
2009: P Stephen Strasburg, San Diego St.
2008: C Buster Posey, Florida St.
2007: LHP David Price, Vanderbilt
2B Tony Thomas, Florida St.
2006: RHP Wes Roemer, Cal. St. Fullerton
OF Kellen Kulbacki, James Madison
2005: OF Shane Robinson, Florida St.
2004: RHP Jered Weaver, Long Beach St.
2003: 2B Rickie Weeks, Southern
2002: SS Khalil Greene, Clemson
2001: RHP Mark Prior, Southern California
2000: RHP Kip Bouknight, South Carolina
1999: UT Jason Jennings, Baylor
1998: OF Kevin Mench, Delaware
1997: OF J.D. Drew, Florida St.
1996: RHP Kris Benson, Clemson
1995: 1B/P Todd Helton, Tennessee
OF/P Mark Kotsay, Cal. St. Fullerton
1994: P/1B Ryan Jackson, Duke
1993: UT Brooks Kieschnick, Texas
1992: P Lloyd Peever, Louisiana St.
1991: P Bobby Jones, Fresno St.
1990: OF Mike Kelly, Arizona St.
1989: P Ben McDonald, Louisiana St.
UT Scott Bryant, Texas
1988: P Andy Benes, Evansville
1987: 3B Robin Ventura, Oklahoma St
. 1B Marteese Robinson, Seton Hall
1986: P Greg Swindell, Texas
1985: OF Pete Incaviglia, Oklahoma St.
1984: OF Oddibe McDowell, Arizona St.