- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2007

Adam Carr didn’t want to pitch when he played at Oklahoma State, suppressing his ability to hurl baseballs at speeds up to 95 miles an hour in favor of trying to hit them.

Carr was drafted twice before joining the Cowboys — in the 41st round by the Blue Jays in 2002 and in round 30 by the Mets after a year at West Valley (Calif.) Junior College. Both organizations wanted him to pitch, but Carr maintained his desire to hit.

He led the Big 12 with 22 home runs and 86 RBI as a junior but went undrafted. His numbers were down as a senior last spring, but the Nationals drafted him in the 18th round. One of Washington’s scouts, Ryan Fox, saw Carr pitch during the fall before his senior season and the Nationals became the third team to select him as a pitcher.

“I wanted to get picked up as a hitter, but it didn’t work out that way,” Carr said. “They saw the talent on the mound and wanted me to pitch. That’s what I had to do. There was no other choice for me — either hang them up and be stubborn because I wasn’t hitting or make the best of it and do the best I can.”

Carr threw 42/3 innings as a junior at Oklahoma State and was a starter at West Valley, but he didn’t appear to show any signs of rust last year after he signed. He struck out 27 batters in 252/3 innings split between the Rookie Gulf Coast League and Class A Savannah. Then he had a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings of work in the Hawaiian winter league.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound former first baseman also showed he could still swing the bat last season. He was allowed to get in some at-bats as a designated hitter, and he hit .302 with three home runs in 63 at-bats. This season Carr is the closer for Class A Potomac, and it has become a full-time job.

“It is full-time pitching now — hanging out and when we need you, we need you and when we don’t, just hang out,” Carr said. “I just hang out until the ninth and if they need me I come in and give it my all.”

The results continue to be positive. Carr has allowed one earned run in eight innings. While he has struck out nine and allowed only five hits, he has walked seven batters.

Provided he does limit his walk totals, Carr could be an interesting option in the Nationals’ bullpen in coming seasons. While he always wanted to be a hitter, his ability to throw in the low-to-mid 90s and complement that with a good slider might eventually make him a late-inning reliever in the big leagues.

“I love Adam. He has such a desire to learn and succeed,” Potomac pitching coach Randy Tomlin said. “The way he takes the mound — he is so aggressive and he has this bulldog attitude. He’s got a great arm and he’s still learning how to pitch.

“You want a guy who is going to close games out to be like that. When he walks out there he knows I am in control of this thing and I am going to slam the door. He’s got that attitude and he’s got the stuff to back it up. We’re giving him a lot of opportunities, both to close games out and also to pitch more than one inning so he can learn to use pitches and face more hitters.”

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