Alum signs with Diamondbacks

Adam Walton ’12 accomplishes dream, aspires to play major league baseball

Alum signs with Diamondbacks

Adam Walton

A former Stevenson Patriot achieved his dream recently, as alum Adam Walton ’12 signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and is playing with one of their minor league teams, the Hillsboro Hops.

Walton, a natural shortstop, has been playing both second base and shortstop regularly, with a bit of third base as well. Offensively, Walton has 10 stolen bases and 32 hits in 43 games, as well as 13 walks. His coaches always knew he had the skills to succeed.

“[The coaches] had a dream together that he would play professionally, but we knew it would take a lot of hard work,” said Patrick Block, Stevenson baseball’s varsity head coach. “But a dream is different than thinking it would actually happen.

Both Block and Walton’s sister, Jorie, a counseling intern and cheerleading coach at Stevenson, referenced Adam’s hard work and dedication when talking about him. Jorie said that Walton started thinking he wanted to play professionally when he was in junior high, and realized he might have a real shot at his dream if he kept working hard in high school.

Block mentioned that as a sophomore at Stevenson, Walton asked Block to meet at Starbuck’s to discuss his future and what he wanted to do with his life. Jorie Walton knows now what Adam wants to do.

“Adam plans to continue working in the sports world after he is done playing, and has a degree in sports marketing and management,” Jorie said.

Adam has been playing baseball since he was three years old, and was 12 or 13 when he fell in love with the sport, so he has the knowledge to continue working in sports. He also played soccer and basketball growing up, but had stopped both by the time he was in high school to focus on baseball.

Even though Block still talks with Adam regularly, he has some advice to give.

“Your dream is not over,” Block said.  “It was not luck that got you this far, but perseverance and leadership.

Block went on to mention that when he coached Adam, Walton never made it seem like he was better than his teammates, and instead led by example. This made his teammates look up to him, and Block noted that Walton was very mature for his age and the coaches got along well with him. The best advice given to Adam has stuck with him throughout his years.

“Whatever you are doing, whether work, friends, baseball, have fun and enjoy every minute of it, because nothing is guaranteed in life,” Walton said.

After Stevenson, Adam went to the University of Illinois for college. Walton’s head coach at the University of Illinois, Dan Hartleb, said that what he remembers most about Adam was his athleticism at shortstop.

“He had a level of consistency and it was nice to have him roaming around.” Hartleb said.

Hartleb also described Walton’s level of understanding defensively, praising how much he knew about different cutoffs.

After his junior year, Walton was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles but went back to school for his senior year to finish his degree because it was important to him and he wanted something to fall back on when he was done playing. Adam signed with the Diamondbacks soon after this year’s draft.

“[Adam] chasing this dream makes me the proudest sister in the world,” Jorie said.