Adams Selected By Braves in MLB Draft
WILMORE, Ky. – Former Asbury baseball player Gardner Adams ’11 became the first Asbury athlete to be drafted in any professional sport when the Atlanta Braves selected him in the 36th round, number 1,106 overall, in Wednesday’s Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.
“It’s been a long journey and I have to thank God first and foremost,” said Adams, a 5-10 right-handed pitcher from Lexington, Ky. (Lafayette High School). “I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people who sincerely care for me and believe in me.”
During his senior year at Asbury, Adams finished fourth in the NAIA in batters struck out per nine innings, 13th in wins and 21st in total strikeouts (92). He was the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week four times this year and five times in his career. He led the KIAC in wins, strikeouts per nine and total strikeouts.
Overall, Adams was 10-4 with one save in 18 appearances and 14 starts. He compiled a 3.70 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 65.2 innings. He struck out 10 or more batters on three occasions, including two 13-strikeout performances against Berea College on April 16 and May 5. He walked only 23 during the season and allowed 55 hits.
Adams leaves the program with nine school career or season records. He holds the record for most career strikeouts (211) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.63). His single-season records include wins (10), strikeouts per nine innings (12.61) and appearances (18), all were set this year. He was also named KIAC Pitcher of the Year and a 1st Team All-Conference selection for the second time in his career.
“Gardner has been working his entire baseball life for this opportunity and we are ecstatic for him,” coach Bob Silvanik said. “His work ethic has obviously paid off, but the character he’s shown throughout four years has been even more tremendous. He took a chance to come here four years ago when we brought the team back and we are just extremely gracious for his service to us.”
Asbury baseball was eliminated following the 2003 season and was brought back for the 2008 season. During the past four years, Adams has been part of 98 wins, the most in any four-year stretch for the program including a school-record 33-18-2 campaign in 2011.
“All of Asbury University is proud of Gardner,” said Interim Athletics Director Ron Anderson. “He has done it the right way by earning his degree and playing four years in our baseball program. We wish him all the best in the pursuit of his dream of playing Major League Baseball.”
Adams is expected to sign with Atlanta and then report to the Braves Spring Training complex in Orlando, Fla. later this week. Adams is expected to be assigned to either the Gulf Coast League Braves in Orlando or the Danville Braves in Danville, Va. Danville plays in the Appalachian League. Both teams are Rookie Level squads.