Prospect #11 - LHP James Adkins

Lefty James Adkins, a supplemental first round choice in 2007, has been pushed due to the fact he attended college for three years. Except for the first year he has struggled but there are some who feel he will still have an impact in the Major Leagues, as we do, and he is our prospect #11.

6-6 195 BL TL
Born- November 26, 1985, Nashville, Tennessee
Obtained- A supplemental first round pick in 2007

Adkin's father played basketball at Cumberland University and his mother was a member of Mt. Juliet's 1983 state championship basketball team so it was no surprise James was an exceptional athlete.

The Dodgers thought so, too, giving him a signing bonus of $790,000. A supplemental first-round draft pick in 2007, Adkins did well after signing late but was restricted to three-inning stints due to a large number of innings piled up in college.

After he signed, he was 0-1, 2.42 for Great Lakes in 2007, struck out 30 in 26 innings and the Loons were 8-3 in those starts.

Pitching at Inland Empire and Jacksonville in his first full season, he went 6-11 with a 5.16 ERA. He pitched a bit better in Double-A, particularly in the final month, but with a .287 batting average against and 66 walks in 125 2/3 innings, he allowed too many baserunners and was too hittable.

The 6-6, 225-pounder works off his slider, which was a major league pitch in college. His fastball stays in the 88-92 range and he uses excellent command and control to get batters out. Last season he worked backward, throwing his off-speed stuff to set up the slider and fastball. He needs a third pitch if he is to succeed as a starter.

Some experts think he will be moved to the bullpen in the near future but and that he will make a good middle-reliever. Others expect him to pick up a third pitch and become a middle of the rotation starter.

Whether he's a starter in the future remains to be seen, but with his slider, he at the very least has a future as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.

Strong record Adkins graduated from Wilson Central High School in Mt Juliet, Tenn. As a junior, he struck out 123 and walked 52 in 60.1 innings and as a senior he struck out 120 in 58 innings as a senior while earning All-Mid District honors.

As a freshman at the University of Tennessee he posted a 10-5 record with a 3.32 ERA and became the first freshman in UT history to log more than 100 strikeouts, finishing with 135 to rank second in the SEC. Totaled 46 strikeouts and a 3-1 record in four postseason starts and made Baseball America Midseason All-Freshman Team.

He also set a new Tennessee record for strikeouts in an SEC tournament game when he fanned 12 South Carolina batters during a one-run, three-hit, eight-inning outing May 27 and struck out a career-high 15 in a four-hit, complete-game win over Winthrop in the NCAA Knoxville Regional.

As a sophomore in 2006, he posted an 8-6 record with a 4.50 ERA in 16 appearances. He had 112 strikeouts and 42 walks in 106 innings and was named to the initial watch list for the 2006 Rogers Clemens National Pitcher of the Year Award. He finished the season with an opponents' batting average of .238 and right-handers hit .219.

Adkins ranks as Tennessee's all-time strikeout king, fanning 133 in 122 innings in 2007. He had a deceptive 7-7 record as the Vols managed to average only 4.4 hits in the games he pitched.

His junior, and final, year at Tennessee saw him run his strikeout total to 380 to rank ninth on the Southeastern Conference's all-time list. His 2007 totals included a 7-7 record in 17 appearances, during which he allowed 104 hits with 44 walks and 133 strikeouts in a team-high 122.0 innings. Adkins broke the Tennessee school record for strikeouts during a complete-game win at LSU in which he allowed just three hits and struck out 14 batters, needing just three pitches for six of his 14 Ks

His final appearance as a Vol was one of his most dominant, when he beat Vanderbilt - the nation's top-ranked team - in the SEC Tournament May 23. Adkins took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Commodores and finished the day with no earned runs on one hit through 8.1 innings. Finished the season with an opponents' batting average of .230.

While his record was seemingly mediocre, he finished the season strong and will probably start at Double-A Chattanooga in 2009.

His record:
James Adkins   

year  team     w-l  era   gm  gs  in   h  bb  so  whip
2007  GLakes   0-1  2.42  11  11  26  17  10  30  1.04
2008  IEmpire  5-8  5.34  19  18  88 106  38  75  1.64
      Jacksn   1-3  4.74   8   8  38  42  28  25  1.84
 Totals        6-12 4.69  38  37 152 165  76 130  1.39


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