Friday, April 9, 2010

In the early morning hours of April, 9 2009 Nicholas James Adenhart was killed in an automobile accident by a drunk driver. Just hours earlier in his season debut on April 8, 2009, he earned a no-decision, giving up seven hits and no runs while striking out five batters in six innings against the Oakland A's at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Nick, who was a top prospect in high school and projected to be a first round pick injured his elbow in his last game of high school and required Tommy John surgery. The surgery saw his stock in the draft plummet and he was selected 413th overall in the 14th round by the Anaheim Angels in 2004. After spending time rehabilitating his elbow Adenhart made his professional debut on June 25, 2005 with the Pioneer League's Orem Owlz.  As 2006 rolled around Nick, still only 19, was a non-roster invitee to the Angels' big league camp.  After spring training Nick was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels where in 16 games, he had 10 wins, a 1.95 ERA, and 99 strikeouts in 106 innings. That year saw him receive a starting pick to the All-Stars Futures Game and a promotion to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Starting 2007, Nick, now a top Angels prospect and ranked 34th by Baseball America was  called up to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers where he spent the season.  In 2008 Adenhart was now with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees and in the month of April, was 4-0 with an 0.87 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 31 innings. On May 1, 2008 Nick made his major league debut in a no-decision against the Oakland A's.  At the time, he was the youngest active-roster pitcher in the major leagues. Adenhart earned his first victory against the Chicago White Sox on May 12, 2008 in Anaheim before being sent back to Salt Lake.

Nick had a great spring to start the 2009 season where he had a 3–0 record with a 3.12 ERA over 26 innings pitched.  This earned him a spot in the Angels 2009 starting rotation.  April 8, 2009 was Nick's first start of the season before his tragic death and the Angels game against the Oakland A's on April 9, 2009 was postponed. 

Nick will truly be missed by all.
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