ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball today named Corpus Christi first baseman A.J. Reed winner of the 2015 Joe Bauman Award, presented by Musco Sports Lighting. As Minor League Baseball's 2015 home run king, Reed will be honored at the Baseball Winter Meetings with a trophy and a check representing $200 for each home run he hit.
The award, first presented in 2002, is named for Joe Bauman, who set a then-professional record with 72 home runs in 1954 while playing for the Roswell Rockets of the Class-C Longhorn League.
"I want to thank the Astros organization and my teammates in both Lancaster and Corpus Christi," said Reed, who helped lead Corpus Christi to the Texas League playoffs. "I've had the opportunity to play in front of some of the best fans in baseball this season, and that's been a special experience. I also want to thank Musco Sports Lighting for its support of Minor League Baseball and the Bauman Award."
Reed, 22, was selected by the Astros in the second round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (42nd overall) out of the University of Kentucky, where he won the 2014 Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur player in the nation. In just his second professional season, Reed was the only player in Minor League Baseball to hit over .300 with 22 or more home runs and finished the season with 127 RBIs, 20 more than the second-place finisher. Reed hit 33 of his 34 home runs in night games and is the third consecutive player under the age of 23 to win the award, following Kris Bryant (22) in 2014 and Joey Gallo (19) in 2013.
Reed, who began the 2015 season with Class A Advanced Lancaster in the California League, struggled in April, batting .208 with three home runs. When the calendar turned to May, Reed exploded at the plate, batting .327 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs and was named California League Player of the Month. He was again named California League Player of the Month in June as he batted .434 with six homers and 30 RBIs.
After opening July with four homers in his first nine games, Reed was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi on July 12, where he added five more in 18 games with the Hooks. After extending his Minor League lead to 33 with five more homers in August, Reed added one more in September to claim the Bauman Award by two over Tacoma's Jabari Blash.
In addition to the Joe Bauman Award, Musco Sports Lighting also presents the leader of each classification level with a check for $500.
Adam Duvall led Triple-A players with 30 home runs between Sacramento (26) and Louisville (four). Duvall was promoted to Cincinnati on Aug. 31 and promptly homered in his first game for the Reds, one of two with Cincinnati this year. Duvall, 27, was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 Draft out of the University of Louisville.
Adam Brett Walker II ran away with the Double-A crown as his 31 homers for Chattanooga (Twins) were 10 more than the second-place finisher. 2015 marked the fourth consecutive season Walker has led his league in homers as he led the Appalachian League with 14 homers in 2012 before leading the Midwest League with 27 in 2013 and the Florida State League with 25 in 2014. Walker, 23, was drafted by the Twins in the third round of the 2012 Draft out of Jacksonville University.
Canadian Tyler O'Neill led the Class A level with 32 home runs for Bakersfield (Mariners) in the California League. O'Neill hit 30 of his 32 long balls at night and homered eight times in a month twice (May and August). O'Neill, 20, was selected by the Mariners in the third round of the 2013 Draft out of Garibaldi Secondary School in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.
Missoula (Diamondbacks) first baseman Austin Byler led the Class A Short Season and Rookie-level leagues with 15 homers for the Osprey. Only 20 Short Season players hit more home runs all season than Byler hit in August alone (nine). Byler, 22, was selected by Arizona in the 11th round of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Nevada.