MSU Draft Roundup: Parks Surprised by Selection

Day 2 of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft is in the books, and Mississippi State saw three current players and two signees get the call today.

The signees were pitcher/outfielder Brandon Woodruff of Wheeler (fifth round, 174th overall, Texas) and pitcher Jacob Lindgren of St. Stanislaus (12th round, No. 371, Chicago Cubs).

As for the current Bulldogs: junior right-handed pitcher Devin Jones (ninth round, No. 275, Baltimore), senior infielder Nick Vickerson (20th round, No. 624, Texas) and senior third baseman Jarrod Parks (24th round, No. 735, Los Angeles Angels).

I had some thoughts from Woodruff and Jones in my previous entry, so let’s hear from Parks. (I’ve yet to get Vickerson on the phone).

Parks actually wasn’t expecting to get picked today. He closed his laptop after round 20 because he thought that was it until tomorrow. Teammate Jaron Shepherd corrected him, and Parks soon saw his name pop up.

“I was like, wait a second, is that me?” He’d been expecting Shepherd, a senior outfielder, to get drafted ahead of him. And Parks said he hadn’t even spoken with the Angels before they drafted him.

“Huge surprise,” he said. “I didn’t even think today was an option. I thought I was definitely going to go after probably the 42nd, 44th round, somewhere after that. I was just watching it because I was watching it for Nick and Jaron, because they were with me. I was the one that told Nick he got drafted. He was like, ‘Oh.’”

Perhaps Parks has just gotten used to being overlooked. He lost out on the Ferriss Trophy, which goes to the best college baseball player in the state, and was left off the all-SEC team despite leading the SEC in batting average during the regular season.

“I was like, there’s no way I can get left off of all three of these things – the Ferriss Trophy, the all-SEC team, the draft. I was like, I’ve gotta hit one of these.”

Parks leads the team in hitting with a .365 average, but he no longer leads the league thanks to a prolonged slump. Since the start of the Ole Miss series – a span of 12 games – Parks is 7 of 42, a .167 average.

He does still lead the SEC in on-base percentage (.513), and he set a school record this season with 20 hit-by-pitches (and counting).

He feels he hit the ball well against Georgia Tech on Sunday, when he was 0 of 5 but thought he could have easily had three hits.

“I feel like today I worked on my swing a lot,” Parks said. “I felt like it was back to where it was. A whole lot more comfortable in the box today hitting off our pitchers. I’ve got to find some holes to get me out of this. Sometimes it just takes a few bloop hits, a few holes to find, (and) you’re out of it.”