What does Marbut firing mean for McFadden?

FLAME-THROWING Parker McFadden out of Yelm was already facing a decision: play baseball at Washington State next season or go pro. The right-handed pitcher is tabbed by Baseball America as one of the top 100 overall prospects in the June 8-10 Major League draft. Does Donnie Marbut’s dismissal change anything? Here's what the 6-0, 175-pound McFadden had to say in a candid conversation with CF.C.

McFadden’s fastball is in the 94-95 mph range and he touched 97 this spring. In 44 2/3 innings this season, he racked up 89 strikeouts, tossed a no-hitter and logged an 0.78 ERA. He was, and is, a prized get for Washington State baseball.

Marbut was let go on Monday as the Cougars' coach. But McFadden still hadn’t heard from anyone at Washington State when we talked to him on Friday. So where do things stand for McFadden? Does Marbut’s departure change his view of the upcoming draft?

“It doesn’t change the pro side of it. But potentially, maybe a different college,” said McFadden.

McFadden has signed his letter of intent with WSU, but he certainly wouldn’t be the first recruit to ask to be released from his LOI following a coaching change.

The good news for Cougar fans? McFadden says before Marbut was dismissed he was leaning toward Pullman unless he were to get picked very high.

“It was probably half and half, depending on how high I would go. If I got drafted high enough, I would probably go to the pros but if not then it would be Washington State,” said McFadden.

It’s not difficult to forecast a scenario where WSU gets in touch with him in the next few days, the new head man creates a buzz and shows McFadden the love, and McFadden heads to Pullman later this summer, just as originally planned.

“I liked the coaching staff -- I like (pitching coach Gregg) Swenson," McFadden said when asked why he chose WSU back in November. "They’re like family, they came to my house and they pursued me the most. I just felt like I belonged there."

A quick check of several mock drafts (alas, only the first round is projected) do not list McFadden. Baseball America tabs him as the No. 82 prospect in the nation.

“I’ve heard there are 5-6 teams that have me in play for some pretty high rounds. But I don’t know if I’m supposed to give away any of that information though so I’ll just leave it at that,” said McFadden.

McFadden said he hadn’t heard from any other colleges, and said he hadn’t considered any other schools specifically since Marbut was let go.

“I’ll be looking at that for the next couple of weeks probably,” said McFadden.

McFadden is best known for his heater but he also throws a curve, changeup, slider and splitter. Because of all the focus on his fastball, it's easy to forget about his curve.

“I can usually locate it and it gets me back on track if I’m a little off with my fastball. I’ll mix a curveball in there and that will get my fastball back to where it’s where I want it to be,” said McFadden.

McFadden was named TNT All-Area first team and the All-4A Narrows League MVP Pitcher this season. In addition to the no-hitter against Stadium, he also tossed one-hitters against Olympia, Timberline and Gig Harbor.

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