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Thursday, April 09, 2009

ADENHART 

I don't have any words for this. If any of you have been around here for awhile, you know I followed Nick Adenhart from the moment he was drafted:

One intriguing draftee is Nicholas Adenhart, a high school pitcher who measures at 6'4'' (or 6'3'', if you believe Baseball America) and can hit as high as 93 on the gun. The MLB scouting report pegs him as a "definite blue chipper" and a "potential frontline [major league] starter," and BA ranked him as the second-best high school pitcher in the country (he actually held the number one spot for much of the season). Why did he go 413th in the draft? Well, he's having the Tommy John surgery. (The video shows that he has very smooth mechanics, but scouts had idenified him as having a "stiff front side" prior to his injury.) Adenhart has a full ride at North Carolina, and his father speaks glowingly of the chance for him to get an education.

So, is he signable? It will be interesting to see. I would suspect that he'll go to college and up his stock, but you can't blame the Angels for trying, and it may work out.


After he signed, he immediately entered the Watch List I used to do of prospects. And my notices were glowing, as as a pitcher young for his leagues Adenhart always at least held his own or excelled.

I liveblogged his MLB debut last year, which didn't go well, and he struggled when he returned to AAA. I was pretty much out of the blogging game by then, but I wasn't worried -- he was still young for his leagues, and you could see the stuff that he had.

Last night's game demonstrated both his potential and his struggles. He had not yet mastered his command, but had such a live arm, with a good moving fastball, a solid curve, and an excellent change. He had an absolutely marvelous sequence against Jason Giambi with men on base, shocking Giambi and myself with back-to-back changes for a strikeout. I thought it was an absolutely fantastic plate appearance from the pitcher's perspective, and it really indicated to me that this was a kid that gets it. And he was going to get there -- he hit the majors younger than Ervin Santana did, younger than John Lackey did, younger than Chuck Finley did, with for the most part terrific minor league numbers.

I don't mean to be insensitive in talking about his pitching or selfish in referring to my own previous blog entries, but this is the arena in which we as fans knew Nick Adenhart. We forge these connections with people we never meet or see outside of a uniform. And they mean something to us -- it's about us being part of something bigger than ourselves, of joining with others and cathartically sharing their joys and disappointments.

And if this incident has this kind of effect on us, I can't even imagine the effect on his family and friends. To watch this young man battle through injury and work hard and achieve his dream, and demonstrate such improvement and progression in his chosen life of work, to have the effect he seemed to have on those who knew him, and have that all seized by an act of such randomness and horror ... I cannot imagine it.

Even Scott Boras wept.

Condolences to all who knew and loved Nick Adenhart.

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Comments:
Im so sorry about what adenhart had to go through, he was a really good player for the Angels and im also sure that a great person.
 
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