James Parr was the Braves' fourth round pick in the 2004 draft out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He started his Braves' career in the Gulf Coast League that same summer and went 3-2 with a 4.24 ERA in ten games. Parr also walked only 12 and struck out 40 in 40.1 innings of work.
Then in 2005 Parr moved up to Rome and continued his good work. He finished with a 13-4 season in 26 games, 18 starts, and had an ERA of 3.41. He walked only 24 batters, and his big highlight was an eight-inning no-hitter against Savannah in June.
Here are some comments from Parr's pitching coach in Rome, Jim Czajkowski, from late in the 2005 season:
"He was outstanding. From coming out of high school to here, and jump over Danville, he was the baby of this staff. When he found out he could pitch at this level, he just took off. His pitches are much crisper now. He's got a much better breaking ball now than when he started. His confidence is amazingly high. He takes the ball and goes right at hitters. On an average night, he's got better than average Major League command on his pitches. He's fun to watch because he just goes right out at guys. He's got a feel for all three pitches. The no-hitter gave him great confidence. He knows what he's capable of now, and that confidence can help him. He's got the ability to make quality pitches in certain situations."
Parr will head to Myrtle Beach in 2006 to work with Bruce Dal Canton. He's been compared to Kyle Davies, with his very effective changeup and similiar makeup. Parr is still a few years away, but there's little doubt the Braves have yet another top prospect in James Parr.
Click here to listen to an audio interview with James Parr. The podcast is titled, "James Parr Interview." Click on the headset dated January 11th.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audio Interview: James Parr
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