It's another installment of the In Appreciation Of...series, in which we highlight an under-/unheralded prospect in the Astros system. Check the one from a few weeks back on Corpus pitcher Dean Deetz. Now up is Quad Cities LHP Brett Adcock.
Hailing from Bay City, Michigan, Adcock helped his high school team (and God help them if their high school is not the Bay City Rollers) go 42-2 and win the State Championship in 2013, going 12-0 himself with an 0.58 ERA and 124 strikeouts.
Adcock was one of the best pitchers in the University of Michigan's history, finishing his career with 256 strikeouts (5th in school history) with the 6th-lowest ERA in school history, at 3.09. In 2016, his junior season at Michigan, Adcock went 7-5 with a 3.22 ERA, but most notably 100 strikeouts (5th-highest in Michigan history for a single season) in 78.1IP (and 62 walks, but whatever). His 2016 season gave him All-Big 10 Conference second team honors.
Coming out of his junior season he was throwing an 84-85 mph cutter, a 90-94 mph fastball 78-80 mph curve, and a 78 mph changeup.
The Astros drafted him in the 4th Round of the 2016 draft and he began his professional career with Tri-City. He made his debut on June 20, where he allowed 1H/1ER, 3K:1BB in 1.2IP. Then he was stretched a little bit, throwing 2.2IP, 0H/0ER, 3K:1BB on June 24. On June 29 he got touched up for 2H/2ER, facing three batters, but was injured fielding a bunt. The specific injury wasn't disclosed and, to my knowledge, still hasn't been disclosed. Word around the campfire is that it was his knee. Still, it cost him the rest of the season, so it had to have been bad.
Still, Adcock, who will turn 22 at the end of August, reported to Quad Cities healthy. Adcock has made five appearances (one in relief because Astros), and turned the corner on both the injury and that walk rate. Here are Adcock's strikeout numbers after five outings: 8, 8, 6, 4, 11. He has yet to walk more than two batters in an inning and is throwing 4.21 pitches/batter, with a 5.29 K:BB ratio. Last night's game was the best of his young career: throwing 6IP, 4H/1ER, 11K:1BB with 55 of his 89 pitches for strikes.
Adcock's season line, thus far: 23.2IP, 15H/3ER, 37K:7BB. 1.14 ERA/0.93 WHIP.
The biggest concern for Adcock's professional career was his walk rate, and as he puts up a 14.1 K/9 to go with a 2.7 BB/9, that'll play at any level.
Good for you, Brett Adcock. We appreciate you.