In the movie Elizabethtown, Orlando Bloom’s character – athletic shoe designer Drew Baylor – runs into a heap of trouble in the fast-paced, high-pressure environment of the big city. On the verge of suicide, he finds love and acceptance in simple, wholesome Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Now real-life Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock is finding some time away from the big-city spotlight to his liking as well.
As a Rule 5 pick in 2011, Adcock struggled through a season at the end of Royals’ bullpen bench. Though he was in over his head, the Royals had to keep Adcock on the roster, or risk losing him.
Just 23 years old at the time and having never pitched above A ball, he managed to keep his ERA a respectable 4.62 over 60 innings, but the Royals protected him from pressure situations.
Now out of the pressure cooker, Adcock is breathing a little easier in Omaha. Converted to a starter, Adcock was lights out in his first two outings as a Storm Chaser. Adcock didn’t allow an earned run in either of his first two starts, picking up wins in both.
He did take a loss in his third outing, but still gave up just eight hits and three runs over seven innings.
After three starts, Adcock stands at 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA and a WHIP of just 0.98.
Adcock’s name doesn’t show up on any lists of top prospects, probably primarily because his big league “rookie” year is now behind him. But just because he’s off the radar doesn’t mean he isn’t developing into a useful piece of the Royals’ future.
Most likely, Adcock is benefiting from the experience in KC. He probably finds it a breeze pitching to minor leaguers after facing the best baseball has to offer last season.
But perhaps he also learned a bit about getting people out as well. He’s a year older, a year wiser, and obviously thriving outside of the white-hot spotlight.
His name might not show up on any prospect lists, but he’s on his way to showing up on the Royals’ roster again at some point. At the rate he’s going, he’ll be in KC before Montgomery, Smith or just about any other Royals “prospect” you care to name.
The Elizabethtown native may make it in the big city after all.