Adam Parrish Wainwright (born August 30, 1981) is an American professional baseball starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Atlanta Braves selected him at 29th overall in the first round of the 2000 amateur draft from Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia. His performance in the minor leagues made him regarded as one of the Braves' top pitching prospects. The Braves traded him to the Cardinals after the 2003 season, receiving outfielder J. D. Drew in a deal which has since been considered lopsided in favor of the Cardinals. Wainwright made his MLB debut on September 11, 2005, against the New York Mets.
Starting his MLB career as a relief pitcher, Wainwright became a closer late in his rookie season of 2006, saving the series-clinching game of both the National League Championship Series and World Series. The next season, he returned to starting pitching, a role in which he has since remained, except for 2011, which he missed due to Tommy John surgery. He emerged as an ace as he led the National League multiple times in wins, innings pitched, and games started. He also has multiple top-ten finishes in earned run average, strikeouts, walks plus hits per inning pitched, and complete games. In 2014, he became the first pitcher in Major League history to post nine of his first 18 starts with seven innings pitched and no runs allowed. In his career, Wainwright has won more than 100 games, three All-Star selections, two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and finished in the top three in the Cy Young Award balloting four times.
With 1,306 strikeouts in his career to date, Wainwright is second to Bob Gibson in Cardinals franchise history in strikeouts. He runs a fantasy football league where the registration fees go to charity. He is currently signed through 2018.
By Dean Hanley
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