James Parr Interview

James Parr just turned 21 years old at the start of spring training. And now in his return to Myrtle Beach, he's proving he may be ready to move to Double-A. Parr is 3-4 in his first eight starts with a 3.18 ERA, only six walks, and 37 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. Here's an interview the Parr from Spring Training.

SHANKS: What are your goals for this season? Anything in particular?
PARR: I think it's just a matter of consistency. I think there's room for that every year. Guys in the big leagues have the mental consistency as well as the physical consistency. That's what I'm working on.

SHANKS: You have a lot to hang your hat on from last year. You had a lot of good games last season, like one I saw late in the year when you had a no-hitter for a while. You must be proud with your progress.
PARR: I did. I have made progress every year. I've gotten smarter with my stuff. My stuff has gotten better. I'm able to locate pitches. Last year the record was 7-8 and the numbers don't look very good but I had a lot of games where I threw well and then something would happen; just those small inconsistencies, like giving up a three-run home run. I had two games where I gave up nine runs, and if you take that away my ERA is in the threes.

SHANKS: Do you feel yourself getting better?
PARR: Yeah I think I had to deal with some shoulder problems and I missed a few starts. That's the first time I've ever had to deal with that. But that's helped me mature. I just learned how to handle things.

SHANKS: How is your shoulder?
PARR: Actually when I came in it was a little sore, but it's getting better. We've worked on it everyday. I'm feeling strong now.

SHANKS: The thing that can get lost in the shuffle about you is that you are still so young. You're still age-wise the people you've been playing with, right?
PARR: Yeah definitely, which is how it's always been for me in baseball. When I was fourteen I was playing with fifteen year old and I've always handled that. It's definitely an advantage for me. I'm not 6'5", 220-pounds, but I handle myself and I feel I'm able to do well wherever I go.

SHANKS: How important is it for you to improve your velocity?
PARR: The ball is coming out of my hand very well. I've had several comments from coaches and players. The ball is coming out really easy. I've gained about ten pounds I think, so I think that'll help with just the natural growth.

SHANKS: In a way have you been able to learn how to pitch since you haven't had the velocity like maybe some others have had?
PARR: I think velocity is about the third most important thing you can have as a pitcher. You have to be able to locate your pitches most importantly all three of them I think would be a plus. But I'm not really worried about it right now. I don't pay attention to what Baseball America says. I'm in the Braves' hands and they're going to do what they want with me. I agree with what they've done with me. They've told me some very good things and I know I'm getting better.

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