Baseball America's Youth Player of the Year in 2003, Adenhart rivaled Homer Bailey as the top high school pitching prospect in the 2004 draft...[Adenhart] works off a 90-95 mph fastball that rides in on righthanders. He also has two promising secondary pitches, a hard curveball and a rapidly improving changeup. He has good arm speed, fade and sink on his changeup, which is more reliable than his curve...He's a good athlete, which allows him to repeat his delivery and should result in at least solid control and command
Baseball America Prospect Handbook, 2009, p 226
The taking of any 22 year old life is upsetting, whatever the reason. I'm 22 myself (albeit only for another two days), and the notion of anyone my age dying makes me shudder.
Of course, I never really think of Major League baseball players as being my age or younger--I am still not used to the idea of any professional athletes, other than gymnasts, being younger than I am--but that's not the point.
Last night, Nick Adenhart pitched six scoreless innings for the Los Angeles Angels, and by all accounts, he battled through it, doing everything his team asked for him and more. He was the Angels top-rated prospect, and he performed like it.
This morning, his soul is in another place, as he, and at least two others were killed in a hit-and-run car accident.
The driver of the van that hit Adenhart's car ran a red light, intoxicated.
Think about that for a moment.
How many of us have ever not even driven drunk, but simply got into a car with one who may have had too much to drink?
The problem is, while you can tell if someone's had way too many, it's not so easy to tell if someone has only had one too many, and that one may be all it takes.
A lot of Yankee fans have taken the opportunity today to point out that Joba Chamberlain, especially given his recent legal issues, should pay attention to the tragedy.
The thing is, Joba's not the only one who should take notice.
Anyone who has ever thought, even for a moment, that their life was somehow invincible, because they were called to do something great, or because they possessed an unnatural talent in anything, and thus that they could drive inebriated, they need to take notice.
The thing about driving drunk isn't just that you put your own life at risk. You put the lives of everyone else sharing the road with you at risk, too. Adenhart and three others were in that car, all young, all without having had a chance to start their lives, and now three of them are dead and one is critical condition.
The driver that hit him? He'll recover from his minor injuries with plenty of time left over to serve a lengthy jail sentence...oh, and since that driver is also only 22, it can be a fair thing to say that his life is over before it had a chance to start, as well.
Thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the Adenharts, to the Angels organization and all in baseball who knew Nick Adenhart, and to the family and friends of those who were also in that car.