Dodgers Prospect #30 - 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 many who feel he has the necessary arm and will still have an impact in the Major Leagues, as we do, and he is our prospect #30.

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.

Adkins ranked as the University of Tennessee's all-time strikeout king, fanning 133 in 122 innings in 2007 and running his career record to 380, ninth on the Southwest Conference all-time list. He had a deceptive 7-7 record as the Vols managed to average only 4.4 hits in the games he pitched.

Before his final season with the Vols he moved his strikeout total to 380 to rank ninth on the Southeastern Conference's all-time list.

The Dodgers gave him a signing bonus of $790,000 and Adkins did well although he signed late and was restricted to three-inning stints due to a large number of innings piled up in college. He was 0-1, 2.42 at Great Lakes, struck out 30 in 26 innings and the Loons were 8-3 in those starts.

Pitching at Inland Empire and Jacksonville in 2008, 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 innings, he allowed too many baserunners.

Adkins is a pitchability lefty who has a good idea of what he's doing on the mound. He's shown three pitches he commands well -- fastball, curve, power slider -- as well as a good feel for a changeup. He goes right after hitters and has shown excellent poise.

The 6-5, 195-pounder works off his slider, which was his main pitch in college. His fastball stays in the 88-92 range and he uses excellent command and control to get batters out. He works backward, throwing his off-speed stuff to set up the slider and fastball.

Some experts think he will be moved to the bullpen in the near future and that he will make a good middle-reliever. With his nasty slider, he at the very least has a future as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen although he is not, as of yet, a strikeout pitcher.

In 2009 he was almost perfectly erratic, recording a 7.45 earned run average in April, a 3.60 in May and then went 5.73, 2.12, 4.73 and 6.00 the rest of the season to finish at 4.48, his lowest mark since his first season in 2007.

His strikeout rate per nine innings has decreased each season from 10.4 as a rookie in 2007 to 5.3 last year at Double-A Chattanooga, which is not a good sign.

Again he closed with a blaze, recording a 3.46 earned run average in his final 20 games.

While his record was seemingly mediocre, he still has that electric arm that attracted the Dodgers in the first place. He finished the season strong and could probably start again at Double-A Chattanooga in 2010.

His record:

James Adkins  6-5  195  bl  tl
Born-November 26, 1985 in Knoxville, Tennessee  
Obtained- Selected in first round of 2007 draft

year  team     w-l   era   gm  gs    in    h   bb  so  ave  
2007  GLakes   0-1   2.42  11  11  26.0   17  10  30  .188
2008  IEmpire  5-8   5.34  19  18  87.2  106  38  75  .300 
      Jacksn   1-3   4.74   8   8  38.0   42  28  25  .282 
2009  Chatt    6-10  4.48  27  26 138.2  144  72  81  .269
 Totals       12-22  4.59  65  65 290.1  309 148 211