06/08/10 8:43 PM ET
Ninth-round pick Parker's dream comes true
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
Geoffrey Parker, a hurler out of Florida State and the Rockies' ninth-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, is not only one of the best players Anderton has worked with, but also a "Class-A citizen."
"He's a real big kid at heart," said Anderton, who has known Parker since Parker was 10 years old. "He works with young kids. They look at him like a big brother."
In his free time, Parker returns to Zephryhills High School in Dade City, Fla., where Anderton is the first-year varsity head baseball coach.
"He loves all those kids out there and he's worked in the Little League program and he's had a lot of fun working with them, and he even has his high school wanting him to come and help over the summer," Cindy Parker, Geoffrey's mother, said. "He encourages kids and tells them how well they need to work in school and that whatever they want to do is a reachable goal."
Parker set his eyes on the big leagues at age 10. More than a decade later, he's one step closer to reaching those Major League dreams.
But before he signs a contract with the Rockies -- as he said he intends to do before the Aug. 16 signing deadline -- he has some business to take care of first.
"I'm hoping to sign, but I can't think about that right now," Parker said. "We've got Super Regionals coming up. We've got to get to Omaha. It's always been my dream to play professional baseball, but I've got a couple weeks to think about it.
Parker's 4-1 record with a 4.60 ERA in 28 appearances has helped the Seminoles to the NCAA Super Regionals, where they'll host Vanderbilt.
Parker said he loves to make others happy, on and off the field.
"I just go out there and do whatever needs to be done," Parker said. "I'm a pitcher, and so if there's a pitch that needs to be thrown in a situation, I'll do my hardest to do that. I'm a hard worker, so I do what I can."
Anderton said Parker has been challenged with impressing baseball administrators far before he entered high school. Years later, he's found a club in Colorado to take notice.
"Everybody looked at him as just a chunky kid," Anderton said. "He would throw the ball real hard, and you didn't know where it was going. But he listened and retained real well, and all of a sudden, he was throwing no-hitters as an 11-year-old.
"Everybody's always overlooked him. He was the Player of the Year in our district. He hit about .500 and hit about 13 home runs and was the best player in the county our senior year, and nobody really knew who he was."
When asked to describe himself, Parker immediately pointed out the smile permanently etched across his face -- particularly on Draft day.
"I woke up this morning nervous, because I had a feeling that my dream was going to come true and I was going to get drafted," Parker said. "When I found out the Rockies had [picked] me, I got really, really excited and had a smile on my face for the rest of practice."
Joey Nowak is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.