Name: Adam Atkins
Born: Cedar Hills, Texas
Age: 22 (9/8/93)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/210 lbs
School: Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, Louisiana)
Adam Atkins attended South Grand Prairie, standing out on both sides of the plate. As a pitcher, he posted a 1.83 ERA in 53 innings with 45 strikeouts and nine walks, and as a catcher, he impressed with his loose swing, hard contact, and good receiving qualities. As such, coming out of high school, he was ranked one of the top 200 players in the state of Texas, and within the top 250 of players nationally. He committed to Panola College and attended when he went undrafted in the 2012 MLB Draft. He pitched there for two years, posting a 2.87 ERA over 69 total innings pitched. In 2015, he transferred to Louisiana Tech and posted a 2.76 ERA in 45.2 innings with 38 strikeouts and 20 walks. In his final year as a college student, Atkins upped his game. Serving as closer for the Bulldogs, the right-hander posted a 1.20 ERA in 45 innings, striking out 56 and walking 12.
In 2015, Atkins altered his delivery with the help of Louisiana Tech coaches, and changed from a standard over-the-top arm slot to sidearm. With the change, hitters have had difficulty picking up pitches out of his hand. According to pitching coach Christian Ostrander:
"He hides the ball well and it really gets on the hitters quicker. In my opinion, they don't see it early and next thing you know it's there. All year he's been able to pitch off his fastball and beat a lot of good hitters even when they know it's coming. That's what is so impressive. He barely pulls the ball out of the glove and he opens up his hips and rotation and the ball is out in front. I don't think they get to pick it up early. He hides it well and that's caused a lot of deception and make it even harder on the hitter."
Atkins's fastball sits in the upper-80s and low-90s. He has the most success with it throwing it high, as his arm angle makes it difficult for hitters to pick up. His frisbee slider and changeup are still developing, but are both weapons against left-handers, who are often stacked in lineups against the right-handed Atkins.