A two sport athlete at Clemson University, Kyle Parker gave up football to pursue a career in baseball.
Right now, it looks as of he made the right choice.
Parker continued his great start to Spring Training in the Colorado Rockies‘ 13-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, going 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. The most recent performance has Parker hitting .286, and he leads the team with eight RBI’s.
Things could have turned out much different for Parker had he turned to the football route. Parker was Clemson’s starting quarterback as a redshirt-freshman and sophomore before quitting the sport to sign with the Rockies after being selected in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. In his two years as a starting quarterback, Parker threw for almost 5,000 yards and added 32 touchdowns. With two years of eligibility remaining, a career in the NFL was possible.
Parker represents the other side of the Russell Wilson saga. Everybody knows about Wilson picking football over baseball after his Super Bowl victory, but Parker has stayed out of the limelight. Parker didn’t put up the gaudy numbers that Wilson did in college, but he did lead the Tigers to a berth in the ACC Championship game and even beat Wilson twice head-to-head.
Three years removed from his quarterback days, Parker is on the verge of returning to prominence in his other report.
After working his through the minors, Parker looks like he is close to breaking through. He has consistently produced at each level of the minors, hitting at least 20 home runs and 70 RBI’s in all three seasons as a pro. He has also hit at least .280 and posted an on base percentage of at least .345 at every level.
Those consistent numbers, and the production this spring, have Parker knocking on the door to the majors. With the highest level Parker has played at before this spring being Double A, it is likely that the Rockies start Parker in the minors this season at Triple A, but don’t be surprised if he finds himself in the majors at some point this season.