Rhett Parrott - The Comeback Kid

Rhett Parrott led the Cardinals organization with 137 strikeouts in 2003. Three years later after missing all of the 2005 season and most of 2004 due to injuries and surgery, the former top 10 rated prospect and member of the Cardinals 40 man roster, is on a rehab assignment pitching for the State College Spikes, the Cardinals short season A team. He's determine to make a comeback.

There was a time that Rhett Parrott, the 6'2 190 pound, right-hander was one of the Cardinals top rated prospects.

His name was ranked along side such highly touted prospects as, Dan Haren, Jimmy Journell, Chris Narveson, Tyler Johnson and others.

Parrott, the Cardinals 9th round selection in the June, 2001 First-Year Player Draft, received a $100,000 signing bonus and some pundits such as John Benson, a baseball columnist and commentator published by the Sporting News and Baseball America, had Parrott projected to be a reliable #3 or #4 guy in a major league rotation by 2004.

We all know that didn't happen.

Parrott missed more than half of the 2004 season, making just seven starts for Triple-A Memphis, before a right shoulder injury forced him to have surgery for labrul debribement on July 30 and he then missed the remainer of the season as a result.

The following season, Parrott reported to spring training, to begin his comeback. He immediately began to feel pain in his surgically repaired shoulder shortly after he reported and eventually underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum on the same shoulder on July 23. The surgery caused him to miss the entire 2005 season.

Parrott was added to 40-man roster by St. Louis Cardinals back in October of 2003 and his future looked bright. He was named the No. 7 prospect in the St. Louis farm system by Baseball America that same year and it looked like he could end up being in the starting rotation for his favorite team growing up, soon.

Since then, two surgeries and missing almost two full seasons, Parrott finds himself back in uniform, on a rehab assignment, starting for the St. Louis Cardinals' newest affiliate, the State College Spikes, a short season A team. State College is a long way from the Cardinals 40 man roster and even a longer way from a starter's job on a major league club. But it is a start.

Parrot, 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA to date. He suffered his loss for the Spikes despite pitching well in his second rehab start. Parrott allowed just one run on three hits in four innings. The big right-hander is scheduled to make another start Saturday for the Spikes. The State College Spikes are on the road, facing the Batavia Muckdogs, in Batavia, New York.

This start may seem insignificant to most, but it is a small step forward, and all long journeys begin with those first small steps.

Parrott hasn't given up on his dreams yet and I wouldn't give up on him. He's on the comeback trail and we'll be watching.

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