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Joan Adon Becomes 200th Blue Rock To Major League Baseball

Adon Called Up In Final Game Of Regular Season
October 4, 2021

In the Washington Nationals’ last game of 2021, the starting pitcher on the mound was Joan Adon, a late-season callup.

In the Washington Nationals’ last game of 2021, the starting pitcher on the mound was Joan Adon, a late-season callup.

While the game was meaningless to the Nationals, who were already out of playoff contention, this start did mark a big milestone for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Adon starting this game would mean the franchise has officially had 200 players reach the Major League Baseball level (MLB).

Dating all the way back to May 15, 1994 when right-handed pitcher Jon Lieber started for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Blue Rocks have seen players from every position, who developed their talent here in Wilmington, play in the big leagues.

Names like Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Zack Greinke, just to name a few, all once wore the Blue Rocks jersey.

“It is amazing,” Blue Rocks public address announcer and front office employee Kevin Linton said. “Those are some of the bigger names that we’ve had and looking back on our history, they kind of set the tone for the success that the Blue Rocks have had with developing future major league stars.”

Linton, who has been with the organization since 2001, has seen many of those 200 players on the field in Wilmington at one point.

“As you fast forward, you see a lot of guys come up and over the years we have seen some great players,” Linton said. “Some guys who surprise you and some guys who you know are going to be genuinely good major league baseball players.”

One of the Blue Rocks teams that had a lot of players go to the MLB was the 2009 team. From that team, 11 players made the big leagues, five of them who would be on the 2015 World Series winning Kansas City Royals.

“The 2009 season was supposed to be a Carolina League champion,” Linton said. “We were loaded, we had guys like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Danny Duffy, and Clint Robinson was on that team. There were a bunch of future big leaguers on that squad, that we kind of knew that was a special team, and that was kind of the nucleus that went on to win that World Series championship in 2015 for the Royals.”

Even after the World Series team, many of the players from Wilmington would get their major league start in Kansas City.

Now flash to the 2021 season, Joan Adon has hopefully started the long line of Blue Rocks representatives to play for the Washington Nationals.

Adon, a 23-year old who flew through the minor leagues, spent most of his time in 2021 in Wilmington, pitching a total of 17 games for the team.

“He always struck batters out, he had the ability to strike many different batters out using different pitches,” Blue Rocks 2021 broadcasting intern Kara Guno said. “It’s really cool to see someone you broadcasted games for up in the booth, now on tv, on the mound in the majors, especially making the jump from High-A to the big leagues in one season.”

Adon pitched his final game with the Blue Rocks on August 17 at Aberdeen, where he fired a complete-game, four-hit shutout over the Ironbirds.

In his big league debut, Adon struck out nine Boston Red Sox batters over five-and-a-third innings pitched, and left the game with a 5-2 lead.

While Adon didn’t get the win on the mound for the Nationals, his career is still very young and bright, and he will forever be known as the 200th Blue Rocks player to make the show.