Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a drunk driving hit-and-run automobile accident Thursday morning, only mere hours after he pitched 6 innings of shutout baseball for the Halos. Adenhart was only 22 years old.
Angels general manager Tony Reagins issued a statement shortly after the news broke to the organization,
“The Angels family has suffered a tremendous loss today. We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick’s family, friends, loved ones and fans.”
Adenhart was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and was originally selected by the Angels with the 413th overall pick in the 14th round of the 2004 MLB draft. Adenhart was a top-100 propsect throughout his minor league days, and became the #1 Angels propsect heading into the 2009 season.
Adenhart was voted as Baseball America’s Youth Player of the Year at the young age of 15. After being touted as a top-5 pick in the 2004 draft before his senior season in High School started, the Angels took a chance on him after injuring his arm requiring Tommy John surgery, and in the minor leagues, he would prove that he was a “risk” worth taking.
After time off recovering from the injury, he would pitch again in 2006, and collect 15 wins in the minors, while earning a spot on the All-Star team and U.S. national team.
He made his major league debut back on May 1, 2008 against the Oakland Athletics, and got his first win on May 12, 2008 against the Chicago White Sox.
His last start would be a no decision against the Oakland Athletics on April 8, 2009. He would go 6 innings, allow no runs while scattering 7 hits, walking 3 batters, and striking out 5.
“For those of us who got to know Nick in the last four years, I can’t tell you how proud we are in the growth we have seen,” said manager Mike Scioscia.
So much potential, so much promise was instilled in this youngster, and everyone got a glimmer of what this young man could have been last night. He was taken too soon. Nick Adenhart, you will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Nick and the Adenhart family at this time of sorrow.
The Adenhart family released this statement:
“He lived his dream and was blessed to be part of an organization comprised of such warm, caring and compassionate people. The Angels were his extended family. Thanks to all of Nick’s loyal supporters and fans throughout his career. He will always be in everyone’s hearts forever.”