This was not A.J. Reed's best game -- not by far -- and that might be the biggest reason to think that he's college baseball's best player. Reed only had one hit tonight in Kentucky's 7-1 against Alabama, but he tacked on two walks. Oh, yeah, and as the pitcher he held Alabama to one run on six hits over five innings.
Again, not his best game. After all, Reed is hitting .358/.494/.786 with 23 home runs, while pitching for a 2.10 ERA with 68 strikeouts to 29 walks over 103 innings. But the rest of Kentucky had eight more hits and drew five more walks in a 7-1 rout to send Alabama home after the first round of the SEC tournament.
For Alabama, the NCAA tournament is still a sure thing, and while getting to host a regional was technically possible, the odds against it were very long. The same is true of Kentucky, but the Wildcats can at least improve their spot in the national playoffs by winning a few games in Hoover. (They play Florida next.) A few more Kentucky victories will also give us more chances to watch A.J. Reed.