Houston Astros: Team should cancel the A.J. Reed ‘experiment’

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21: AJ Reed #23 of the Houston Astros poses for a portrait at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 21, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21: AJ Reed #23 of the Houston Astros poses for a portrait at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 21, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

There are good reasons why A.J. Reed can’t be trusted at the major league level for the Houston Astros. He continues to prove that in Spring Training 2018!  This “experiment” should be canceled, like yesterday.  Here’s why.

This spring Houston Astros fans, A.J. Reed was told by skipper Hinch that he would be given every opportunity at a roster spot. So far, however, he has squandered every single chance that he has received.

It’s no surprise, really.  Reed has shown that he is all power and little of anything else. Yes, he may have had fewer chances than either J.D. Davis, Tyler White or Derek Fisher. Still, that is no excuse for his lack of production.

Recently, word came about about Yuli Gurriel having to be sidelined for up to 6 weeks from surgery on his left hand. By all accounts, it is likely that we may not even see him play with the big league club until May at the earliest. Lest we forget, there is still the matter of his 5 game suspension that looms large.

Wheel of Fortune!

With that in mind, there will be a fight to land that first base spot on the opening day roster. For that matter, whoever does land at first base will likely be there for the entire opening month of April.

Try as he no doubt will, I just don’t see A.J. Reed making the cut for the 25-man roster. This Spring, he has managed to go a mere 1-for-13 (.077 BA) with no RBI or extra base hits. He also has only 2 walks and 7 strikeouts across 16 trips to the batter’s box.

Speaking of strikeouts, A.J. Reed has never had lower than a 25 percent strikeout across his entire career, even in the minor leagues. This just goes to show that he is still very much a free swinger and punching out at well above the major league average. And with a defending championship team that has thrived on reduced strikeouts, there is just no place for A.J. Reed to be anywhere near Minute Maid Park.

Other Fish (Or Sharks) In the Sea!

Now, let’s compare that to the ACTUAL front runners to get the first base job:

J.D. Davis: .385/.467/1.000/1.467; 4 *XBH, 4RBI, 2 HR, 2BB, 3K (16PA)

Tyler White: .375/.643/.625/1.268; 2 *XBH, 2RBI, 5BB, 2K (14 PA)

* Denotes extra base hits!

I’ve already long since made my case for Tyler White to make the 25 man roster over the course of last off season. Though Davis has impressed, I stand by my previous prediction. White has had much more exposure to the majors than Davis, and a whole season’s worth of bench plate

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appearances at that level under his belt. (343, to be exact!) The shark has already paid many dues, is far more versatile, and the clear front runner to fill in for Yuli!

Regardless, A.J. Reed does not even factor into this equation. Nor should he, truth be told. The sample size for spring training is small. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that A.J. Reed cannot seem to make the necessary adjustments as a hitter.

Davis, White, Fisher, and even Tony Kemp have all long since done that. Those four look to be the go-to players for injury depth. Unless he makes the needed adjustments, A.J. Reed is not even going to come close to getting near the major league level.

Wishing Well

Don’t get me wrong, readers. I would love to see A.J. Reed succeed on the big league level. I still believe the major league potential is there. Sadly, it has not been fully tapped into yet.

I would absolutely want A.J. Reed to prove me wrong, and hope he does. But with so much better and adjusted hitters than him, it doesn’t look very likely to happen. At least, not when it comes to breaking through for our World Champions.

Astros fans, it’s time for us to move on from him. Use him as trade bait to get some more pitching depth, or with other prospects from another team to stock up the farm. Give A.J. Reed the chance to spread his wings and fly with a team he can flourish with. (Chicago White Sox, anyone?!)

Next: A depth problem that must be solved for 2018

I realize this may be an unpopular opinion, but the truth hurts sometimes. And let’s be frank here, we don’t need another Chris Carter or Jon Singleton around!