MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Former Faulkner pitcher and Millbrook native Austin Adams has been assigned to the Cleveland Indians major league club, the organization announced Friday.
Adams, who played for the Eagles from 2006-2009, had been with the Indians' Triple A affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, where he had been virtually unhittable in his last 19 appearances out of the bullpen. In 25.2 innings of work, the right-hander has allowed only one run, while striking out 23. His ERA over the stretch is 0.35.
"It's a surreal feeling," said Adams after arriving in Cleveland Friday morning. "They told me last night after our doubleheader. I didn't get to pitch, and I was wondering if I'd done something wrong during batting practice or something. I got on the plane early this morning. It's definitely a dream come true and I'm going to take all of it in – one day at a time."
Selected in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft by Cleveland, Adams flourished in the Indians' minor-league system before missing the entire 2012 season due to shoulder surgery. This year for the Columbus Clippers he is 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA in the 30 appearances. He has recorded 35 strikeouts in 39.1 innings, having been clocked in excess of 100 mph in his recent outings.
The Indians host the Chicago White Sox in a three-game series beginning tonight at Progressive Field. First pitch is set for 6:05 central time.
"I am so proud of Austin," said Brent Barker, his former coach at Faulkner. "He is a great young man and always represented Faulkner in a wonderful way in his four years as a student-athlete. Austin is the first player I've coached to make it to the big leagues. It's an incredible accomplishment, and most people have no idea just how difficult a road it can be, especially having recovered from shoulder surgery. I know he's happy, and I know his family is extremely proud of his accomplishments."
Adams earned honorable mention All-American honors while at Faulkner, and was a two-time selection to the All-Southern States Athletic Conference team. For the Eagles, Adams pitched and played shortstop. His senior year he was Faulkner's weekend starter in conference games on Friday nights, then played shortstop in the Saturday doubleheaders. Early is his career he was the Eagles' closer.
His overall pitching record was 10-8 with a 4.41 ERA, having earned 20 saves, while his career batting average of .372 is among the best ever at Faulkner. He also had 29 home runs and drove in 157 runs for the Eagles. Adams is the second former Faulkner player to make it to the major leagues, joining Shane Reynolds, a pitcher for the Eagles in 1987-88. Reynolds won 114 games in his 13-year major league career.