13 July 2009
Jarrett Parker Feels Right at Home in Brewster
By Katy Fitzpatrick, CCBL Intern
BREWSTER, Mass. – After missing nearly the first month of the Cape League season due to the College World Series and wisdom teeth surgery, Jarrett Parker, the highly touted outfielder out of the University of Virginia arrived in Brewster a couple weeks ago and has been putting up great numbers and making himself at home.
“I’ve always wanted to play up here on Cape Cod,” said Parker. “ It’s been one of my dreams for a long time. It’s a great area, great baseball. I love it up here”
The 6-foot-4 fielder, who put up big numbers for the Cavaliers this past season, helped lead his team to the College World Series, making UVA the first college from Virginia to make it to the College World Series since 1983, when James Madison University appeared. Parker led his team with a .355 batting average with 94 hits over the 2009 season. He ranked in the top 10 in nearly all offensive categories for the ACC, topping the conference in triples (11) , and tying for second in runs scored (76). And as if his offensive contributions weren’t enough, Parker played tremendous defense in the outfield, helping to contribute to UVA’s .972 fielding percentage, which was good enough to rank them second in the ACC.
Parker’s standout performance caught the eyes of Team USA and they offered him a spot on this year’s squad. Unfortunately for Team USA (and fortunately for the Cape League) Parker had to decline.
“I had to get my wisdom teeth out at the end of the season and they wanted me down there right after we lost in Omaha,” said Parker. “It just didn’t work out.”
The Brewster Whitecaps welcomed Parker with open arms, and Parker’s comfort has seemed almost instantaneous. Wooden bats tend to be one of the biggest adjustments for college players, but Parker seems to be getting along just fine. Since his first appearance in a Whitecaps uniform on July 3rd, Parker has already hit one home run and two triples. In addition to his slugging, Parker has stolen four bases. Parker is keeping his goals intact as he continues to make tremendous progress.
“I really try to go out there and play hard everyday,” said Parker, who admits he is unfazed by the major league scouts at the ballparks. “I try to drive the baseball to get on base, and when I’m on base I try to start things up. I just try to make plays. I want to play my hardest and whatever happens, happens.”
One aspect that adds to Parker’s comfort here on the Cape is the presence of some of his Cavalier comrades. While he has no teammates in Brewster, some of his friends are here on the Cape as well trying to prove themselves.
“I actually faced one of my roommates, Tyler Wilson (UVA). He pitched on the mound the other day,” said Parker. “That was a little awkward, but a little funny at the same time. If he strikes me out, he’s going to get a good laugh out of it, but if I get a hit off him, he’ll get upset about it and I can joke about it. So it’s a good thing.”
Jarrett Parker’s short stint in the Cape League so far has proved that he has what it takes to be successful in the most competitive summer baseball league in the country. His contributions both at the plate and in the outfield are helping Brewster to be more competitive. And while the All-Star Game is still a few weeks away, Parker could find himself in Fenway Park’s centerfield representing the Brewster Whitecaps for the Eastern Division.
Katy Fitzpatrick can be reached at [email protected]
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick