Two months ago, about a week after moving back to Indiana after 25 years in West Texas, Ohio and Chicago, I paid a visit to a nearby small town to check out a baseball card shop I read about online. I haven't written about this experience yet but will one of these days. Suffice to say it was much improved from this experience.
A nice gent greeted me as I walked in. He sat behind a three-sided counter jammed with Jarrod Parker cards, surely every one produced to this point. I used my keen brain and deduced he must be a local.
And sure enough, Parker grew up just down the road - about 12 miles from my hometown - in a sneeze of a town called Ossian, Ind., population: a shade under 3,000.
I wasn't surprised to learn a big leaguer is from these parts. I was more surprised that I hadn't heard about it before. I guess 25 years away has a way of making you lose touch.
|An image borrowed from checkoutmycards.com. I need to check out their cards (and begin my Parker collection.)|
A righthander, his main pitch is a fastball that reaches 96 mph. According to Baseball America, before this season he was the #33 MLB prospect. He's hovered around that number every pre-season since being drafted straight out of Norwell High in Ossian - 9th overall in the 2007 MLB draft.
Now, I'm no scout but I am a roughly 20-time fantasy baseball league champion so clearly I'm a baseball genius, yet I somehow still have no idea whether Parker will bust out or break out. Who does, really, when it comes to prospects. Considering he missed all of 2010 after Tommy John surgery in October 2009, his future success - much like any pitching prospect, I guess - is far from guaranteed.
This season, he pitched pretty well in AA but didn't exactly light the league on fire. I imagine he's still another year away from the majors.
But I'm rooting for him.
Whatever happens with his career, Parker is a natural for me to collect. Beyond our regional link, I had been thinking some about adding two or three prospects a year to my PCs. I'm not really much for prospecting - but a bit of it here and there is kind of fun. I guess I'd better get back to that shop since I didn't buy any Parkers that day.
Well, I did buy one Parker - but I'll write about that in the coming days.
So there you have it, the first in a series on Indiana-ish baseball players. The first of any series on the Indianaland blog. History has been made.