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In Honor of Nick Adenhart
Written by Shawn Lindsey

Player Profile – Nick Adenhart, Anaheim Angels, SP

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was tragically killed in the early morning hours of Thursday April, 9; just hours after pitching 6 scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics. Adenhart was a passenger in the car that was struck by a mini-van that ran a red light. The driver of the van fled the scene but was later arrested by police nearby. As news spread throughout the Angles organization and the country, commissioner Bud Selig has decided to postpone the third game of the Angels series with Oakland. The following player profile is dedicated to the memory of Nick Adenhart, a young man who had much more to give both on and off the field.

Nicholas James Adenhart was projected to be a top 5 draft pick coming out of a preparatory high school in Williamsport, Maryland but after suffering an elbow injury the 17 year old underwent Tommy John surgery. The injury forced Nick to drop all they way down to round 14 in the draft whee he was selected by the Angels. He spent the following months rehabbing at the Angles facility where he would rise to become the organizations top prospect. He was also named the Youth Player of the Year by Baseball America in 2001.

The 6 foot, 185 pound right hander would spend the next three seasons in Angles minor league system. Adenhart finished his first year as a professional baseball player with 13 starts in an Arizona summer league posting a 3-3 record with a 3.59 ERA and 59 strikeouts.

The next three seasons of Adenhart’s career (2006-2008) would jumpstart his way to the majors. He was tabbed to the Midwest League All-Star Team during his time in Single-A as was also selected to the MLB Futures game in 2006. He was selected to be a member of USA Baseball’s Olympic Qualifying team during the same year he led the Angles farm system with 15 wins.

Shortly thereafter Adenhart would be called up to Double-A ball where he would post a 10-8 record with 116 strikeouts. He was again selected to another All-Star game, this time in the Texas League and found himself as the second best prospect Angel’s prospect by Baseball America in 2007. But Adenhart wouldn’t have to wait much longer to complete a childhood dream. On May 1, 2008 he was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake after going 4-0 with an ERA under 1.00. Nick Adenhart made his major league debut against the Athletics the day he was called up and became the youngest active-roster pitcher in the Majors. Adenhart would go on to pitch in 3 more games for the Angles that season finding only one win with an ERA of 9.00. He was then optioned back down to Salt Lake to finish the 2008 season.

May our thoughts and prayers be with the Adenhart family, the other victims of the crash and the entire Angel’s organization. Nicholas James Adenhart, taken from the game far too soon, R.I.P.