Former Wildcat signs free agent deal with LA Dodgers

Former Wildcat Adam Scoggins celebrates with his family, the signing of a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Former Wildcat Adam Scoggins celebrates with his family, the signing of a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Former Wildcat, Adam Scoggins, a 2016 graduate, signed the first professional baseball contract in the school’s history with the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 19, 2021. Despite tearing his UCL and being unable to play for a year, he overcame it. While in the Cape Cod league in Boston Massachusetts, Adam got the call receiving an offer to sign. His busy schedule limited calls with his family, so the news was definitely a surprise.  

“I didn’t really talk to them much because I had so many phone calls going on, but once the deal was done I got to finally Facetime the whole family to let them know it was official,” he said. “I had my cousin fly in to be the middleman with all the phone calls, so I wasn’t too overwhelmed.” 

During Scoggins’ high school career, he pitched in nine games and had a 4.90 earned run average according to Max Preps. He also hit and played outfield. He finished his high school career with a .233 batting average, with 24 hits in three years. Even though he didn’t play much in high school, he dreamed of playing at the next level. Crowder College came calling. 

“If you want to get drafted with any amount of money,” his father, Duane Scoggins, said,“you need to be in a power five conference in your opening gap. It comes down to scouts being able to see you more in a bigger conference.” 

At Crowder College, a junior college in Neosho, Missouri, he pitched in 12 games and had 30 strikeouts in 14 innings. He finished his two seasons with a 10.29 ERA. While in high school he weighed 195 pounds. After his time in junior college, he gained 25 pounds, as well as gained velocity on his fastball. After graduating from Crowder, he signed to play at Oral Roberts Univeristy in Tulsa, Okla.  According to the Oral Roberts website he was sitting at 93-95 miles per hour on his fastball, in JUCO he was sitting 90-92. 

“The weight room is getting better because the science is trickling down. I think they did a good job of getting him into shape as far as ready to compete,” Duane said, “but I think he’s gotten stronger.” 

He then had a difficult journey through his four- year school at Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla. A  relief outing against North Dakota State turned into survival. A pitch decided his season.  He tore his UCL and would have to undergo Tommy John surgery. In the outing against NDSU, he retired the first two batters, but every pitch caused more pain. The pain became more real when he gave up a 3-run home run. According to Adam, emotions rushed through him as he approached the trainer. He knew he was out for at least a year. 

“I walked back to the dugout after and went right to our trainer to tell him I tore my it,” Adam said. “My thoughts were all over the place, and I was uneducated on the surgery.” 

He recovered and became his team’s “go to guy” out of the bullpen. Against South Dakota State on May 28, he pitched a career high 3.2 innings and sat nine batters down. He put everyone on notice throughout college baseball. He gained the confidence and took his game to the Cape Cod league where he had many discussions with the Dodgers, finally finalizing a deal as a free agent. 

He finished the minor league season in Low- A with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and looks to move up through the farm system. 

“My agent said that 28 out of the 30 teams had talked to him about me,” Adam said. “During the draft, I was getting calls from a lot of teams but mainly the Red Sox, Giants, Cubs, Mariners, and the most coming from the Dodgers.”

The Dodgers finished the regular season second in the National League West.