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Angels take chance on Adenhart

June 08, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Apparently, an injured Nick Adenhart is better than no Nick Adenhart at all.

That seemed to be the philosophy of the Anaheim Angels, who selected the Williamsport High starting pitcher Monday in the 14th round of the annual major-league draft.

The Angels made the pick, even though Adenhart injured his pitching elbow on May 11 and faces "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery and a long rehabilitation process.

The 14th-round selection fell well under where Adenhart was projected to go in the two-day, 50-round extravaganza. As the 2004 season started, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander was targeted to be picked in the top 10, possibly as high as third with the New York Mets.

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Adenhart was unavailable for comment on Monday.

Adenhart wasn't the only player from the Tri-State area to get the call from the major leagues.

Frederick Community College shortstop Brandon Conway, a 2001 graduate of Jefferson, was selected in the ninth round by the Montreal Expos.

Adenhart, who possesses a 95-mph fastball and sharp-breaking curve, suffered his injury against the second batter in his May 11 start against South Hagerstown. Eleven days later, he announced he would need corrective surgery, which will be performed this month by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

Adenhart has said his goal is to rehabilitate his arm to be able to pitch for the University of North Carolina, where he has a scholarship.

Once he attends North Carolina, Adenhart won't be eligible to be drafted again for three years - the 2007 draft. With their move, the Angels retain Adenhart's rights until then, if he decides to attempt a professional career earlier.

Conway attended pre-draft workouts for Baltimore and the Expos. He displayed the build which projects to becoming a professional shortstop.

"At 6-foot-4, he's tall and lean and could get stronger," said John Lowery, Conway's former coach at Jefferson.

Conway was named to the West Virginia Class AAA and Herald-Mail All-Area first teams in 2001, when he batted .441 and drove in 46 runs before going to Frederick Community College.

P.J. Hiser, David Miner, Brian Baugher and Matt Yurish, other area players who had possiblities to be drafted, were not selected through the first 18 rounds of the two-day even. The draft will be completed today.

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