Rockies agree to terms with top pick Parker

August 16, 2010 | 10:09 pm | 12  

The Colorado Rockies announced they have agreed to terms with first-round pick Kyle Parker. Baseball America’s Jim Callis reports that Parker will receive a $1.4 million bonus.

The Rockies signed supplemental first-round pick Peter Tago earlier in the day.

Parker, the 26th overall pick, turned down an offer reportedly worth more than $2 million for a baseball-only contract earlier this summer and returned to Clemson where he was the starting quarterback last season. The deal likely will allow Parker to continue playing football.

Parker hit .344 (85-for-247) with 15 doubles, 20 home runs, 64 RBI and 85 runs scored.

The 6-1, 200-pound outfielder was rated as the 37th overall player available for the draft by Baseball America. He’s the first position player the Rockies have taken with their first overall pick since Troy Tulowitzki in 2005, although the team did take outfielder Tim Wheeler with their second first-round pick in the 2009 draft.

From MLB.com’s scouting report:

Parker has the chance to be a 20-20 athlete this college year: 20 home runs this spring following the 20 touchdown passes he threw for the Clemson football team last fall. He’s an elite athlete who has really put things together at the plate this year, hitting for average and power. He’s got the arm for right field, though he’ll have to improve his routes and reads in the outfield. He doesn’t have a long track record of success at the plate, so a team taking him will have to believe that this is the real Parker, not the one who hit .255 last season. That team will also have to think it can sign Parker — whose dad played in the NFL — away from his remaining years of football eligibility.

Read the full scouting report and see a video here.

12 Comments »

  • Marc | August 16, 2010 | 10:46 pm

    Steve

    Can the bonus be clawed back if Kyle suffers an injury playing football?

  • Doctor_Christopher | August 16, 2010 | 10:58 pm

    Is $800K worth the slow down in his development from missing AFL? Eventually the guy has to give up football, I just hope it does not happen from a shoulder or knee injury this year. But will be watching Clemson FB this season to see how he does. Credit to ODowd and Monforts for getting both #1s signed today, and for decent money.

  • Rich M | August 17, 2010 | 7:10 am

    The Rockies these guys signed, so yes that’s agreat job by the front office. Parker still seems like a strange pick for me though, in that he really isn’t a five tool outfielder unless you count throwing a football as one of his skills.

    There are not very many of them out there, but I am still looking for the super power hitting first baseman. The Rockies sytem is really fairly thin at the corner infield positions.

  • Agbayani | August 17, 2010 | 7:23 am

    Rich, if Parker were a 5-tool player he wouldn’t have been available when the Rockies first pick came up.

    Still, this seems like a good high-upside pick to me. The Rockies are indeed thin at the corner infield positions, but they’re also thin at any of the corner (power-producing) positions in general. They need to replenish the minor leagues at those positions, and Parker may turn out to be a good start.

  • Agbayani | August 17, 2010 | 7:29 am

    And Dr Christopher, interesting comment, picking up on Tracy’s tweet about how Parker gave up $800,000 in signing bonus money to play football one more year. He must really love Clemson football …

    When he was drafted, FSN had Schmidt (director of scouting) on TV. Drew Goodman said Parker must have a good arm since he’s a quarterback. Schmidt shot that down, saying that sometimes the skills don’t translate from football to baseball (Matt Holliday was an example). It translated pretty well in John Elway’s case. So I guess he’s considered a quarterback with a leftfielder’s arm. That may explain why football is not a career option for him.

  • TJ in Phoenix | August 17, 2010 | 11:11 am

    Ok, so there’s something I don’t understand and I’m sure I just missed it. By his signing a contract, doesn’t that take away some sort of amatuer status that enables him to still play NCAA football? Wouldn’t the NCAA get all over him for this?

    Thanks fellow posters for the clarification!

  • Steve Foster | August 17, 2010 | 11:22 am

    The Rockies didn’t announce the details of the contract, but presumably the team has some protection in case of a football injury — the real loss would be the pick, not the money. The 800k difference between offers likely is about the delay in his development. Not that many first-rounders this year signed right away, so his missing time from the short-season leagues isn’t unusual relative to other players. But rather than working out this fall in Arizona, he’ll be playing football. Not an ideal situation for the Rockies, but if they didn’t feel Parker would eventually stick to baseball and be worth the time, effort and money they wouldn’t have signed him and just taken a compensation pick next year. We’ll have to wait to see what Parker’s commitment is to football: does he just want to play another year or does he think he has a chance to go pro in football? Fortunately, the Rockies also have Peter Tago signed and second-rounder Chad Bettis is off to a great start at Tri-City (4-1, 1.12), so with the great draft in 2009, the team has some room to make a mistake with this one.

  • Steve Foster | August 17, 2010 | 11:34 am

    Understanding baseball’s transaction rules requires an advanced degree, so I’m not going to wade too deep into the NCAA rules, which require a PhD to understand. But ESPN.com had a good explanation of this related to Russell Wilson. You can see it here, but essentially as long as any work by an agent is only baseball related and the only payment he accepts is from baseball — no endorsements — Parker (and, for that matter, Wilson) can keep his amateur status in football.

  • TJ in Phoenix | August 17, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    Once again, this website gives me info I didn’t know.

    Thanks Steve, and once again, great job with the website.

  • Bill | August 17, 2010 | 3:09 pm

    The NCAA is the one with arcane rules. Numerous players play one college sport while playing another as a professional. Yet when Jeremy Bloom signed an endorsement deal because of his skiing (or was it snow-boarding?) the NCAA ruled him illegible to play football. Makes no sense. But they allow coaches to change schools, often just ahead of a school going on probation, but punish kids who transfer.

    Anyway, back to baseball. Hope Parker makes it. I think it was a good pick and according the MLB report he has a good arm. I believe he slipped to the Rockies because of the football situation.

    Rockies need to win against both the Dodgers and the D-Backs. Dodgers are only throwing one tough pitcher in Kershaw. The others are average at best, although the Rockies struggle against these guys on the road as well.

  • Kalkano | August 17, 2010 | 4:06 pm

    “Yet when Jeremy Bloom signed an endorsement deal because of his skiing (or was it snow-boarding?) the NCAA ruled him illegible to play football.”

    What does that have to do with being unable to read his handwriting? lol! I couldn’t resist…

  • Derrek | August 17, 2010 | 5:11 pm

    How cool would it be to be good enough to start at a big time D1 college football program, then also be good enough to have a MLB team sign you to a baseball contract. And that MLB team say yeah go ahead and play football, we will wait til your done! LOL.