With their eighth-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected Hunter Parks, a right-handed pitcher from Florence-Darlington Technical College. Parks made FDTC history by being the highest player ever selected from the school. The Reds are known for taking the higher velocity pitchers in the draft. They often aim for higher potential and higher spin rate pitchers.
“We are very proud of Hunter and thrilled for the opportunity he has with the Reds organization,” said FDTC Head Baseball Coach, Preston McDonald.
Hunter Parks is a 20-year-old elite athlete who is known for his electric fastball and his live arm. Parks fits perfectly into the mold that the Reds like in a right-handed pitcher.
Hunter Parks’ 2021 baseball season could be described as anything but normal. To start the season, Parks was injured. Almost immediately after Parks was healthy, he had to enter COVID-19 quarantine and go through the protocols to get back to playing. This was almost of month of time missed just due to COVID-19.
When he came back, he came back strong. He started 10 games last season and posted a tremendous 6-0 record. To go along with that, he held a 1.90 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He helped lead the program to a program-best record of 46 wins and only eight losses. He also helped FDTC make their second ever NJCAA College World Series appearance.
Even through adversity, Hunter Parks put together a tremendous 2021 season.
Hunter Parks might have the highest potential of all the Reds draft picks in 2021. He is 6’4 with plenty of room to fill in his frame, only weighing 187 pounds. He already has a live arm with an above-average fastball as well as good spin rates on both his fastball and his breaking ball. Parks also has shown flashes of two other above-average pitches, in his changeup and slider.
He is also extremely young, at only 20 years old. As Parks gains experience, maturity, and develops as a player, he could be somebody that the Reds look to contribute mightily down the line.
Life with the Reds
With the Reds, Parks has made a few appearances for the Rookie-level team. He has made three starts and totaled 11.33 innings. In this small sample size, he has been dominant. He has only allowed eight hits and two runs in these 11+ innings. He has struck out 13 batters and only walked four.
Hunter Parks is currently ranked in the top 30 of all Reds prospects. This is impressive due to his age and his projectability. He has a higher potential than a lot of the guys that are ranked ahead of him.
His career with the Reds is just getting started, but if Hunter Parks can tap into his potential sooner rather than later, he is in for a long and successful career.
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