Parker Puts Season in Perspective

The rookie infielder was a middle of the pack draft pick this season for the Mets, but certainly did not play like it as he found instant success with the Kingsport Mets. Michael Parker, who played all over the infield this season, was both effective with the glove and at the plate—the latter earning him league-wide merit. Inside Pitch spoke with Parker about his dynamic year.

"I thought it was a good first year. I got some experience playing at different positions, and overall I thought it was a really good rookie year and I'm looking to take it into the next spring training," said Michael Parker.

His brief synopsis may have been a tad modest as he played his way to an Appalachian League Player of the Year Award, as well as distinction as post-season All-Star. A three-year starter, and four-year veteran, at George Washington University, Parker stepped right into the K-Mets lineup with experience and knowledge of exactly what he wanted to accomplish.

In his first 18 games, he hit .303 with two home runs and six RBI, continuing the offensive success he had during his final college season. As his time with Kingsport rolled on, he kept producing. In his second half not only did he find a rhythm but his production spiked as well. In his final 25 games, Parker hit .294, with two home runs, and 11 RBI. He had 25 hits over the time, scored 16 runs and displayed solid patience by earning 16 walks.

The motto for his game is simply what his coaches at GW, and Kingsport instilled over and over again: consistency is best.

"It was all about improving my consistency. As I played more I became more consistent and that's what it's all about. It's all about keep my mechanics consistent and keeping my body in shape, going out there and playing hard. The rest will take care of itself," he said.

That fervent mental approach was the leading contributor to his quality play. He ended the season with a .298 batting average and a .367 on-base percentage. Numbers which he knows he could not have reached without executing on the preaching of his coaches and the Mets' hitting coordinators.

"All the coaches I worked with talked about being aware of the situations you are in and what to do in those situations," he said. "They talked about having a solid approach at the plate that relies on putting balls in play and staying alive with a combination of patience and aggressiveness. I think that really helped me put up solid numbers and be productive."

The patience paid off as his strikeout ratio was right around one strikeout to seven at-bats. It taught him to go after pitchers and that he should not always wait for the ideal pitch; that many times he would have make something out of nothing.

"Nobody likes to strikeout and I really don't like to strike out, so when I have two strikes on me, I've got to be a little more aggressive and try to put the ball in play and not let the umpire get me out. If I put the ball in play, good things will happen and that's something I believe in," said Parker.

Aside from his offense, he proved to be of great value in the field. He is a second baseman by nature but he saw time all over the K-Mets infield, a proposition which is not foreign, and is actually an element to his game that he welcomes. Given that he could have played any position on any day, his low error total of four is something in which he takes great pride.

"I thought my defense got a lot better through the course of the year, and I played all four infield positions, which was good in terms of versatility. I thought my defense, especially in the latter half of the year, was much more consistent and I'm excited to play any number of positions to help the team the best I can," he said.

All those tools, and all that progress, culminated in the aforementioned awards. Yet when asked about what they meant to him after his rookie campaign, Parker remained true to himself by appreciating the hardware, but keeping an eye on the future.

"The awards were great, I certainly didn't expect going in to win anything and it wasn't really a goal of mine. I just think about it as recognition for a great year, and keep moving on," he said.

"I learned a lot at the rookie league level just like I did in college about to how approach and play the game everyday, but now I'm moving on and getting my mind ready for next year. I'm looking to move up and try to put myself in the position where I can play for a full-season team next year, and be productive for that team."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I thought it was a good first year. I got some experience playing at different positions, and overall I thought it was a really good rookie year and I'm looking to take it into the next spring training,\" said Michael Parker.
\r\n
\r\nHis brief synopsis may have been a tad modest as he played his way to an Appalachian League Player of the Year Award, as well as distinction as post-season All-Star. A three-year starter, and four-year veteran, at George Washington University, Parker stepped right into the K-Mets lineup with experience and knowledge of exactly what he wanted to accomplish.
\r\n
\r\nIn his first 18 games, he hit .303 with two home runs and six RBI, continuing the offensive success he had during his final college season. As his time with Kingsport rolled on, he kept producing. In his second half not only did he find a rhythm but his production spiked as well. In his final 25 games, Parker hit .294, with two home runs, and 11 RBI. He had 25 hits over the time, scored 16 runs and displayed solid patience by earning 16 walks.
\r\n
\r\nThe motto for his game is simply what his coaches at GW, and Kingsport instilled over and over again: consistency is best.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was all about improving my consistency. As I played more I became more consistent and that's what it's all about. It's all about keep my mechanics consistent and keeping my body in shape, going out there and playing hard. The rest will take care of itself,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nThat fervent mental approach was the leading contributor to his quality play. He ended the season with a .298 batting average and a .367 on-base percentage. Numbers which he knows he could not have reached without executing on the preaching of his coaches and the Mets' hitting coordinators.
\r\n
\r\n\"All the coaches I worked with talked about being aware of the situations you are in and what to do in those situations,\" he said. \"They talked about having a solid approach at the plate that relies on putting balls in play and staying alive with a combination of patience and aggressiveness. I think that really helped me put up solid numbers and be productive.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe patience paid off as his strikeout ratio was right around one strikeout to seven at-bats. It taught him to go after pitchers and that he should not always wait for the ideal pitch; that many times he would have make something out of nothing.
\r\n
\r\n\"Nobody likes to strikeout and I really don't like to strike out, so when I have two strikes on me, I've got to be a little more aggressive and try to put the ball in play and not let the umpire get me out. If I put the ball in play, good things will happen and that's something I believe in,\" said Parker.
\r\n
\r\nAside from his offense, he proved to be of great value in the field. He is a second baseman by nature but he saw time all over the K-Mets infield, a proposition which is not foreign, and is actually an element to his game that he welcomes. Given that he could have played any position on any day, his low error total of four is something in which he takes great pride.
\r\n
\r\n\"I thought my defense got a lot better through the course of the year, and I played all four infield positions, which was good in terms of versatility. I thought my defense, especially in the latter half of the year, was much more consistent and I'm excited to play any number of positions to help the team the best I can,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nAll those tools, and all that progress, culminated in the aforementioned awards. Yet when asked about what they meant to him after his rookie campaign, Parker remained true to himself by appreciating the hardware, but keeping an eye on the future.
\r\n
\r\n\"The awards were great, I certainly didn't expect going in to win anything and it wasn't really a goal of mine. I just think about it as recognition for a great year, and keep moving on,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I learned a lot at the rookie league level just like I did in college about to how approach and play the game everyday, but now I'm moving on and getting my mind ready for next year. I'm looking to move up and try to put myself in the position where I can play for a full-season team next year, and be productive for that team.\"
\r\n
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