Former Mississippi State third baseman Jarrod Parks was introduced to one of the exciting parts of life as a professional baseball player.
Parks was called into the manager’s office Sunday night and told his services were no longer required with his Rookie League team in Utah. The reason was simple – he was being promoted immediately.
At about 2 a.m. on Independence Day, Parks was packing his bags and getting on the road for a 610-mile trip to California.
Parks was sent to Class High-A Monday morning after hitting .419 in 12 games in Orem, Utah. The Bulldogs leading hitter in 2011 was leading the Pioneer League in on-base percentage (.519), third in batting average, tied for second in home run (3), tied for third in runs scored (12) and second in slugging percentage (.698).
After being skipped over the Class A level, Parks is now three promotions away from playing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the 47th Mississippi State alum to play in the Major Leagues.
“Most kids don’t get off to the start in their professional careers that he did,” Mississippi State head coach John Cohen said. “I don’t really think there’s any doubt that Jarrod Parks can hit at any level,”
The 23-year-old third baseman made his debut Monday in the California League for the Inland Empire 66ers in San Bernardino, Calif.
Parks’ new manager with the 66ers is Tom Gamboa, best known as the Kansas City Royals first base coach who was attacked on the field by two fans during a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 19, 2002.
In his final season in a Mississippi State uniform, Parks led the team in batting average (.363), hits (77), triples (3), walks (44), hit by pitches (20), on-base percentage (.507) and starts (62 at third base).
Parks signed a professional contract with the Angels franchise on June 15 with a rookie contract that included a slot signing bonus for a player drafted in the 24th round.