Prior to the Tulsa Drillers opening the 2013 season at San Antonio on Thursday, I had the chance to sit down and talk to heralded Colorado Rockies prospect Kyle Parker, who was ranked by MLB.com as Colorado’s #5 prospect heading into this season.
Drafted by the Rockies in the first round (26th) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Clemson University (where he was the starting quarterback in 2009), Parker had a solid season in 2012 at Class A Modesto, where he hit .308 with 23 home runs, 18 doubles, six triples, and 73 RBIs in 102 games. This season, he is hoping to overcome the injury bug that struck him last year as he missed a little more than a month after suffering a broken right hand and then strained a ligament in his left thumb that caused him to miss the end of the season and the playoffs.
Kevin Henry: So how does it feel to finally reach the Double-A level and Tulsa?
Kyle Parker: I’m excited but I’m treating this like any other year. I’m ready to play ball. I felt good coming out of spring and I’m looking forward to a long year. I’m looking forward to getting off to a good start.
Henry: What are some of your goals for this season?
Parker: I just want to come out and play with a clear mind. I want to be consistent and that’s my goal. I want people to know what they’re going to get and expect every day from me.
Henry: Can you talk about your time in the Colorado camp this spring?
Parker: It went well in the big league camp. It was a great experience to watch guys who have been there for a while. When you reach this level (Class AA), you get the feeling you’re not that far away from reaching your dreams.
Henry: You are one of a number of players who moved up from Modesto to Tulsa in the offseason. Is there a comfort level there?
Parker: Absolutely it’s nice to have a bunch of the guys from Modesto here. It seems like a great group of guys we have here in Tulsa.
Henry: What are your first impressions of Tulsa’s ONEOK Field?
Parker: It looks like a very nice park. I like to hit the ball the other way and I like knowing there’s a short porch in right field (307 feet).
Henry: Do any football thoughts still cross your mind?
Parker: Football is way back in my mind. I’m getting so close to my dreams and I’m focused on that.