In-shape Reed excited to compete for job at first

Prospect arrives in better condition than a year ago

In-shape Reed excited to compete for job at first

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Slugger A.J. Reed, the No. 4 prospect in the Astros' system by MLBPipeline.com, reported to Osceola County Stadium on Monday afternoon eager for his first big league camp and in much better shape than he was a year ago.

Reed, who's competing for the starting job at first base, said last year that he didn't quite understand how to keep his body in shape during the offseason, and he reported overweight to Minor League camp. That didn't stop him from hitting a combined .340 with 30 doubles, five triples, 34 homers and 127 RBIs between Class A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi.

Reed on adjustments made, 2016

"It was my first offseason alone and I wasn't at school, where they're kind of walking you through everything," said Reed, who was drafted in the second round out of the University of Kentucky in 2014. "I don't think I was really ready for that and it was something I had to learn from. This year, I had a really good idea what I needed to do and where I need to be to be successful. I feel I'm in a really good spot."

Singleton carries weight, clear focus into camp

Reed, 22, spent the offseason in his native Indiana, working out and taking ground balls every day. He recently got married. Many eyes will be on him when the full squad works out for the first time on Tuesday.

"I'm ready for the competition," he said. "That's what I'm most excited about for Spring Training, getting out there and competing. There's a lot of really good guys coming out here competing for the spot, and I'm going to play my best and work hard. I can't wait for tomorrow."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.