[ed. note - “With interest in the Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system, according to Baseball America, as of late last season. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]
WASHINGTON – Mitchell Parker was drafted in the fifth round in 2020 out of San Jacinto Junior College and like many players didn’t see pro action that year as the pandemic wiped out the minor league season.
Now the left-handed pitcher from New Mexico is trying to make up for lost time. One good thing about the 2021 season was that he saw a lot of action, unlike some pitching prospects who were hampered by injuries.
Parker pitched 101.2 innings – among the most in the entire system – and was 4-12 with an ERA of 4.87 in 23 games with 21 starts split between low Single-A Fredericksburg and high Single-A Wilmington.
After a rough start in Fredericksburg, Parker turned the corner to start the 2021 season in Virginia.
“We made some really short, quick adjustments and they worked,” Pat Rice, the former pitching coach for Fredericksburg, told Federal Baseball during the 2021 season.
“Sometimes it doesn’t work but it worked pretty quickly.”
In his fourth start, Parker went six innings on May 25 and gave up just one hit and no earned runs.
Parker, in his next outing on May 30 against Down East in North Carolina, threw six hitless innings and gave up no runs.
“He did a really nice job. It happened way quicker that I would have thought,” said Rice, who pitched in seven games for Seattle in 1991.
“[Parker] threw the ball exceptionally well here and off he went.”
Rice was let go by the Nationals at the end of the 2021 campaign.