This is a continuation from the September 21, 2012 issue
Jarrod was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 9th overall pick in 2007 Amateur Draft and signed with the Diamondbacks on August 15, 2007 for $2.1 million.
As a part of the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate in 2008, Jarrod played for the South Bend Silverhawks in the Midwest League. He was named to the Midwest League mid-season All-Star team, which is the same league that the Fort Wayne Wizards played. He pitched against the Wizards allowing just 2 hits and got the win. My wife and I and grandchildren saw him play at Fort Wayne, South Bend, Lansing and Dayton.
In 2009 Arizona sent him to High-A Visalia, California where he earned a rapid promotion after posting a 0.95 ERA in four starts. He moved to the Mobile BayBears in Alabama in a Double-A Southern League. There he posted a 4-6 record with a 3.68 ERA. He held his own against older competition, but was hampered by an elbow injury. He did not pitch again that season and ended up requiring the infamous “Tommy John” surgery/elbow ligament replacement on October 28, 2009. Missing the entire 2010 season, Jarrod spent the next 16 months rehabing and getting his strength back into his throwing motion and velocity.
Coming back at full strength in 2011 Jarrod had a great year with the Mobile BayBears.
Soon after the BayBears finished celebrating their Southern League Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jarrod got a telephone call from the Diamondbacks. They said get on a plane to Phoenix, Arizona as soon as you can because “you are going to the Big Leagues!”
Jarrod pitched in one game with the Diamondbacks against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a no decision. Up to bat he hit a single.
On December 9, 2011 the Diamondbacks traded Jarrod to the Oakland Athletics. The A’s sent him down to their AAA team in the Pacific Coast League to pitch for the Sacramento RiverCats mid-March of 2012.
Called back up to Oakland on April 25, 2012 after going 1-0, 2.18 ERA in four starts for the RiverCats, Jarrod’s first start was against his all-time favorite team the Chicago White Sox. It ended in a no decision.
In his next start he earned his first major league victory defeating the Boston Red Sox 5-3.
Late in September, Jarrod’s record was 12-8, .349 ERA, 134 strikeouts and 61 BB.
On Monday night, October 1, Parker helped to clinch the last playoff spot after defeating the Rangers with a 4-3 win. He eliminated the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays from playoff contention when he went six innings and allowed three runs.
Jarrod Parker pitched the A’s back to their first postseason since 2006 AL championship series. Tommy Milone, a teammate, currently holds the Oakland rookie record with 13 wins. Right-hander Parker is tied.
Justin and Jarrod Parker were both influenced by their grandfather Kenton Parker, who passed away in 2003. Their grandfather stressed to the boys, “Perfect practice prohibits poor performances.” Their Little League coaches were their dad and grandfather.
If Brent and Ranelle Parker ever write a book on how to raise boys to become respectable young adults, my wife Barbara and I would purchase the first copy. If our grandchildren grow up and mature just like Justin and Jarrod, we would be very happy to support them in their endeavors in life.
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