The Kyle Parker Era Ends for the Colorado Rockies
The Kyle Parker era for the Colorado Rockies ended with a whimper rather than a bang. On Friday, it was confirmed that Parker had been released by the Rockies, putting an end to a first-round selection who was full of potential but could simply never reach it.
Technically, the beginning of the end for Parker in a Rockies uniform came in late January when he was designated for assignment after Colorado signed Gerardo Parra to a three-year deal. With Parra on the squad, there simply wasn’t room for Parker in a very crowded outfield.
Even before Parra has signed, the 26-year-old Parker couldn’t work his way into the lineup at Coors Field. Colorado’s first-round pick in 2010, Parker saw action in just 64 games for the Rockies over two seasons. He hit just .182 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 138 trips to the plate.
Parker was selected 26th overall by the Rockies out of Clemson, where he was the starting quarterback for the Tigers during his freshman and sophomore years. Parker gave up football after his sophomore season to focus on baseball and told me in 2013 when he reached Double-A with the Tulsa Drillers that he believed he had made the right choice.
“Football is way back in my mind. I’m getting so close to my dreams and I’m focused on that,” Parker said.
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In the offseason before the 2014 season, Parker was asked to learn to play first base, a move that the Rockies hoped would give him more versatility and a better chance to stick in the big leagues when he was called up. Kyle Parker talked to me about it in 2014 when he was in Triple-A with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
“Learning how to play first base was a whole new world,” Parker said. “It took me a while to figure it out because it’s a completely different position than I was used to playing, but it was a good experience.”
After being designated for assignment in January, Parker cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque. He was brought to Colorado’s spring training camp as a non-roster invitee, but hit just .222 with two RBI in 27 at-bats this spring.
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Kyle Parker is now available to play with any MLB club. However, with no suitors interested in him after being designated for assignment in January, it will be interesting to see how quickly another team picks him up, if at all.