HURLERS ADKINS, BRADLEY RETURNING TO WASHINGTON

The Washington Wild Things announced the return of pitchers David Adkins and Trevor Bradley for the 2018 season. Adkins played in Washington in 2017 after spending 2016 with the Florence Freedom.  Bradley, who turned 25 yesterday, was signed during the season in 2017 and made 21 appearances, three of which were starts, for Washington after signing.

Adkins, who will be 24 by the outset of the 2018 season, will play his third season of pro ball after graduating from Georgia Gwinett College. As a college baseball pitcher, Adkins was 19-1 over the course of 56 outings. He enjoyed his best collegiate season in 2016 at GGC, by going 14-0 with 101 strikeouts and a 1.88 earned run average in 95 innings.

In 2016, Adkins was shut down in mid-August and released from the Freedom roster, where he struck out 51 batters in 53.1 innings in his first taste of pro ball. In 2017 with Washington, Adkins was 5-1 with a save in 39 appearances. He sported a 3.38 ERA in 50.2 innings, while allowing 36 hits and 21 runs (19 earned). He struck out 50 and walked 25.

“Davis pitched at an All-Star level 95% of the season. We saw flashes of greatness when he pitched for Florence in 2016, and we knew in a stable situation he could dominate here in Washington,” said general manager Steven Zavacky. “He embraced the challenge of pressure situations and dominated right-handed hitters better than almost anyone in the Frontier League. We look forward to see the next step Davis takes with his offseason development.”

Adkins is looking for more success both from a team and personal standpoint.

“We had a very good year last year,” said Adkins. “I was so blessed to be a part of the playoff run we made. Hopefully we can do the same thing again this year.”

He added, “I’m hoping to have a better year this year than I did last year, and hopefully we can bring a championship back to Washington this season. We have the best staff and coaches in the league.”

​​Adkins also thinks his role from a knowledge standpoint may change a bit, being that this will be his third season in the Frontier League.

“For the new guys coming in, you cannot dwell on one outing or performance,” said Adkins. “We have a 96-game regular season. You’re going to hit some rough spots; you just have to push through them.”

Trevor Bradley, a Lexington, South Carolina, native, signed with the Wild Things fresh off finishing up his collegiate career at Georgia Gwinett College, where in 2016, he was 6-0 with 52 strikeouts, 10 walks and a 1.91 earned run average. He also set the single-game strikeout record at GGC with 12 that season before almost doubling his inning total in 2017. Bradley was 8-4 in 83 innings his senior year with a 3.14 ERA.

Once arriving in Washington, Bradley made an almost immediate impact, showing versatility to start as well as come out of the bullpen, and was a bit more effective in the latter role. In total, Bradley was 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 40 innings. He nailed down a save, and allowed just 16 earned runs in his innings, with 35 strikeouts and 21 walks.

“As a two-way player in college, Trevor brought a lot of natural competitiveness to our pitching staff,” said Wild Things’ general manager Steven Zavacky. “He showed spurts of dominance and made quality strides in his first season of professional baseball. We’ve asked Trevor to prepare for a bigger role out of our bullpen in 2018. It is important his development stays on schedule and he grows into a stabilizing force to bridge innings.”

Familiarity was a big help for Bradley when he got to Washington. He had played at Georgia Gwinett for a season with Wild Things’ right-hander Davis Adkins, as well as had a common ground with former Wild Things’ catcher John Fidanza, who finished up school at GGC after Bradley got there. He said it helped as he adjusted to his first season in professional baseball.

“I had so many guys last year that really helped me get through the season, and having a few players on the team that I played with in past years really helped me out,” said Bradley, citing playing with Fidanza, Adkins and former Wild Things’ RHP Jacob Condra-Bogan. “The competition was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be.”

Even with that in mind, Bradley said he is excited to make progress in 2018, and looks for improvement to be more an impact on a potential 2018 playoff run.

“I’m very excited for this coming season. We played really well last year as a team. It’s an exciting team and I’m looking forward to playing with these guys for a second season,” said Bradley. “I’m looking to improve my game this season and I want to perform at a really high level so I can make an impact on this team.”

​As for team expectations, Bradley acknowledged he and the team will want to win a Frontier League title, but he has some personal goals as well.

“[I want to be] someone my coach and teammates want in the game and make the all-star team.”

He added, “I think we have the best front office and the best coach in the Frontier League for sure. We wouldn’t have went as far as we did without them and the moves they mad last year.”