A.J. Reed is one of the top prospects in the Houston Astros farm system. After finding great success throughout the minors, should fantasy owners now make him a must add off the waiver wire?
The Houston Astros defied all expectations last season, managing to make a deep postseason run before anyone thought they could. But, things have not gone as smoothly this season, as they have battled struggles both offensively and within their pitching staff.
However, they are hot as of late, and the promotion of A.J. Reed could go a long way in helping to sustain their current streak.
The buzz around Reed began during his days at the University of Kentucky, as the 6-foot-4 lefty can absolutely mash the ball. Houston drafted him in the second round in 2014, and all he has done since, is tear up the minors since he joined the club. After a solid rookie minor league campaign, Reed absolutely exploded last season between Single-A and AA ball.
He was able to post a video game type stat line of, .340/34 HR/127 RBI/1.044 OPS, further cementing himself as the future first basemen for the Astros. A.J. Reed had the outside chance of winning the job out of spring training, but the team eventually decided to roll with Marwin Gonzalez instead. But, Gonzalez has proven to be better suited for a utility role instead of a starter, opening the door for Reed to finally debut and offer an offensive spark.
A.J. Reed has not been able to replicate his production, albeit predictably so, at AAA this season. However his, .266/11 HR/36 RBI/.854 OPS/19 2B line, is nothing to scoff at. He has prodigious power, which will certainly play at the major league level, and the Astros will surely insert him near the middle of the lineup to take advantage of his run producing ways.
His swing is very comparable to Brian McCann, and Reed has shown to have a solid eye at the plate as well. He has only struck out 59 times, yet has drawn 28 walks along the way as well, over 59 games this season. Most predicted that his promotion would have come in May, but there is still more than enough time for him to make a difference for fantasy owners this season.
A.J. Reed serves as a must add off the waiver wire, as his advanced stroke and power, are too tantalizing to pass up of the waiver wire. Owners should probably expect an AVG around .260, even though he can do better, but he should easily be able to offer near 15 homers moving forward. The Astros still have a potent lineup that can offer plenty of counting stat potential, and Minute Maid Park remains one of the best hitters ballparks. Make the move now, and finally enjoy the power show that Reed is capable of.