It was a good year for Limestone County baseball. Ardmore and Athens Bible advanced to the state championship series, while Athens gave 5A runner-up Cullman all it could handle in the postseason.
It’s no surprise the success behind those teams was an exceptional group of players that highlight the All-County baseball team. The MVP of that team, Cody Reed, has already started his professional playing career with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Reed was selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 5. A few weeks after graduating high school and celebrating his 18th birthday, Reed reported to training camp in Arizona.
“He’s doing a lot of running and working out,” said Ardmore head coach Andrew Smith, who spoke with Reed Friday. “They aren’t doing much as far as pitching goes because he’s already thrown 92 innings this year.”
Reed was able to pitch against 2013 MLB All-Star Marcos Scutaro, who is rehabbing with the San Francisco Giants, during a Arizona Rookie League game last week.
“That’s pretty neat, getting to pitch against an All-Star,” said Smith. “He’s only able to pitch an inning here and there. It’s a little bit different out there.”
Reed will work with Arizona’s other rookie draft picks until the season concludes in September. After a few weeks off, he will return to prepare for spring training, where the organization will determine where to send the left-hander.
Since finishing his senior season with Ardmore, Reed’s list of accomplishments include Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year, Alabama Sports Writers Association Player of the Year, ASWA 4A Player and Pitcher of the Year, first-team All-State and Louisville Slugger High School All-American and National Pitcher of the Year.
A few days after graduating high school, Reed was drafted No. 54 overall in the Major League Baseball draft. He was previously committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt, which won the 2014 College World Series on Wednesday. The towering left-hander has been on scouts’ radars for several years but shot up draft boards with a spectacular senior season.
During his senior season, he went 10-2 with a 0.46 ERA, 226 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 92 innings. He notched 14 double-digit strikeout games, including five no-hitters, 21 strikeouts against Elkmont and 20 strikeouts versus Pope John Paul II-Catholic.
At the plate, he pounded out six home runs, 10 doubles and 33 RBIs, with a .667 on-base percentage and an .800 slugging percentage.
“It was really, really special, for him and what he did for the community and baseball program,” said Smith. “It’s nice to look back at what he did and what we accomplished as a team.”
As a junior Reed posted a 10-1 record with a 1.25 ERA, including 159 strikeouts. He was voted the 4A Player of the Year and 4A Pitcher of the year by the ASWA.
He was a repeat selection for all those awards in 2014 in addition to being selected as Mr. Baseball, awarded to the top player in the state, regardless of classification.