This is an ongoing series where I recount some of the memorable moments of 2015 involving Virginia ballplayers. In this installment, I look at Giants OF Jarrett Parker (Stafford).
Parker, a LF, was a 2nd round pick (74th overall) in the 2010 FY Player Draft. He would spend the 2011-2012 seasons with Single-A San Jose and for 2013-2014 he came back home, sort of. He would play with the Richmond Flying Squirrels of AA, and just 75 minutes from home. Over the course of his first 4 pro seasons, Parker slammed 61 HR, stole 73 bases, and batted .255. His main struggle was his high strikeout total, as he did top 100 in each of the 4 seasons.
While with Richmond in August 2014, the Giants happened to be on the east coast for a series with the Mets, and Parker was called up to the big team and spent one game in the dugout with them. He did not get into the game and flew back to the west coast with the team, who then sent him down to nearby AAA Fresno.
On June 10 of this year, Parker was called back to the big team, but 4 games and one hit in 11 AB later, he was returned to Fresno. He came back on September 11 and got his first ML RBI that night. He was rewarded with a string of games of playing time, and through September 25th, was batting .318. Parker was starting to show a lot, A LOT of promise, as the Giants settled in for a game against their cross-bay rivals, the Oakland As, on the night of Saturday, September 26.
If Parker was showing promise before this game, he made Giants brass stand up and take notice afterwards.
Parker slammed 3 Homeruns, and drove in 7 runs, in a Giants 14-10 win over Oakland. He became the first Giants rookie to ever slam 3 homers in a single game, and the first Giants player with 3 HR and 7 RBIs in a game since……Willie Mays.
This game followed up homers in previous 2 games, giving him 5 HR in 3 games, and this monster game raised his batting average up to .370 and his on-base % to .414.
Parker continued his hot streak the next day, with 2 more hits, raising his average to .400 and his on-base % to .455. He leveled off after that, and when he got 2 hits in the season finale, he finished with a .347 batting average and a .407 on-base %.
From Colonial Forge HS in Stafford to success at UVA, to the major leagues, Jarrett Parker appears to have won himself a permanent spot with the San Francisco Giants. On Opening Day 2016, he will be 27.