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Former Astros prospect A.J. Reed retires

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This got lost in the shuffle of the most eventful March on record, but former Astros prospect A.J. Reed decided to retire earlier this month. His retirement was first reported by WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Reed, who is still just 26, got on everyone’s radar when he posted a line of .340/.432/.612 with 34 homers and 127 RBI between High-A and Double-A in 2015. That would earn him a brief callup to Houston that didn’t go well. After that he’d have success at Triple-A in a couple of subsequent years but could never make the leap to the bigs, hitting just.149/.241/.234 with four homers over 199 plate appearances across four seasons with Houston and, last year, with the White Sox. Given his lack of defensive value — he was already DH’ing a good deal — his lack of offensive success pretty much ticketed him as a career Triple-A player.

And he probably could’ve had a decent career as a Triple-A guy — lifers can do alright in that role compared to how the youngsters do — but he obviously decided to move on with the second act of his life.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.