January 27, 2009 - Texas League (TL) - Corpus Christi Hooks
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - San Diego Padres pitcher Mike Adams and Oakland A\'s infielder Cliff Pennington are this year\'s professional honorees at the Fifth Annual South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet, scheduled for Thursday, February 5 at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center.
Adams, the former Sinton Pirate and Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelina, made a successful return to the Major Leagues in 2008 after missing all of 2007 due to knee surgery. The right-handed reliever, who was named the 2004 South Texas Professional Pitcher of the Year when he broke into the big leagues with Milwaukee, opened the 2008 campaign with Triple-A Portland. In 12 appearances for the Beavers, Adams went 3-1 with a 5.52 ERA, with 16 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.
Adams got the call to San Diego and debuted with the Padres on May 22, tossing two innings of shutout relief against the Reds. He appeared in 54 games for San Diego, all in relief, and went 2-3 with a 2.48 ERA. Adams allowed just 49 hits and 19 walks over 65.1 innings while striking out 74. He posted a 0.71 ERA in 12 July appearances, and finished the season by allowing just one run over his last 10 outings, covering 11 innings (0.82 ERA).
Pennington, the former Carroll Tiger and Texas Aggie who was drafted in the first round by the A\'s in 2005, captured South Texas Professional Player of the Year honors in 2005 and 2007. He began 2008 with Double-A Midland and batted .260 in 50 games with 18 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. That included an April 30 performance against the Hooks in which Pennington went 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, four runs and two stolen bases.
Moving up to Triple-A Sacramento, Pennington produced four hits in his first two games for the RiverCats, including a home run in his debut May 30 at Portland. The Corpus Christi native played 65 games for Sacramento and batted .297 with 16 RBIs and 11 steals.
Pennington made his Major League debut on August 12 in Oakland against TampaBay. In 36 games with the A\'s at second, third and short, he hit .242 with five doubles, nine RBI\'s and four steals. In a September 22 game in Arlington, Pennington scored the winning run after a leadoff double in the 11th in Oakland\'s 4-3 victory over the Rangers. He went 2-for-4 that evening with an RBI and two steals.
For the balance of 2008, Pennington batted .273 with 21 doubles, five triples, two home runs and 43 RBIs. He scored 103 runs and stole 35 bases, both career highs.
Adams and Pennington will be recognized at next week\'s banquet, which gets under way at 6:30 p.m. For ticket and sponsorship information, call the Corpus Christi Hooks at (361) 561-HOOK. Proceeds benefit the Corpus Christi Miracle League.