Nick Adenhart, 1986-2009
I don't know what to say about how horrible I feel about what happened to Nick and 3 other occupants of his car last night. I've never met Nick, but have followed his career for a few years now. Because he was a highly regarded talent, that was one reason to follow his career closely, and that he was from Maryland, where I live, was a bonus.
I'd check the minor league box scores every 5th day to see what kind of progress he was making. His initial numbers were outstanding, but he developed some trouble with his control in 2007 while pitching at Arkansas. His 2008 season stats weren't pretty, either in AAA or in 3 major league starts. You could see the fastball, but he was always behind in the count, and the batters seemed to know what was coming. Still, the ability was there and I looked forward to seeing what kind of major league pitcher he might become.
In spring training 2009, he made huge steps forward. And last night, we got one glimpse of the kind of pitcher he could be. A good low 90's fastball with movement, a changeup that hitters didn't identify until it was too late, and a big breaking curveball. His control was still kind of shaky, but he was able to create enough deception with his pitches to work his way out of jams on the way to pitching 6 scoreless innings.
It was a good glimpse of what he might have become, but that's all we ever get to see. My prayers go to his family, and the families of the other 2 young people who lost their lives in that car last night.
Until the Angels play their 7th game, the league ERA leaders will look like this:
Earned run average
NAME TEAM ERA
Adenhart Los Angeles 0.00
Saunders Los Angeles 0.00