You might have heard by now that the Angels a teammate Thursday. Nick Adenhart
, a 22 year old phenom pitcher, was killed early Thursday morning
in a hit and run accident.
This is Adenhart's 2008 rookie card from Topps.
I first time I took notice of Adenhart was back in 2005, when I bought that year's Baseball America's Prospect Handbook
. The Angels had selected him out of a Maryland high school the year before; he was a big-time prospect before blowing out his elbow his senior season. Los Angeles drafted him in the fourteenth round and paid for his Tommy John surgery and rehab, getting a first round talent in the process.
Each year after that, Adenhart moved up the Angels' prospect rankings, all the way up to Number 2 by 2007. I had taken full notice by then, and Adenhart actually became something of a pet prospect for me. Any time I was making up blue-sky, never-gonna-happen-but-man-wouldn't-it-be-awesome trades, Adenhart and Brandon Wood were the two players that I always had coming from the Angels, usually in return for some combination of Chris Duncan/Ryan Franklin/bag of old baseballs. (Hey, in my head, the trades can be as lopsided as they want.)
And now, an incredibly talented young man is gone, much too young. We as Cardinal fans know all too well what it's like to lose a member of the family, and I'm sure that everyone out there is thinking of both Nick Adenhart's family, and the Angels' extended family as they try to make some sense of this.