Mitchell Parker’s first stop as a professional baseball player will be St. Louis.
The former Manzano High standout has signed his first pro contract with the Washington Nationals. Washington drafted Parker, a sophomore from San Jacinto College in Texas, in the fifth round of the MLB Draft on Thursday, and Parker signed with the defending World Series champions on Friday.
And Washington gave Parker a message.
“Stay ready,” he said. “But don’t push too hard.”
Parker will be training with a former teammate at San Jacinto, right-handed pitcher Jackson Rutledge, who was Washington’s first-round (No 17 overall) draft pick in 2019.
Parker, a left-handed pitcher, was taken No. 153 overall last week by the Nationals.
He said he will train in St. Louis with Rutledge, and, “depending on how long the season takes to start, we’ll be there.”
Parker said like most everyone else, he doesn’t have a clue if there will be any actual baseball this year.
“From what everyone in the organization has been saying, it’s a tossup,” Parker said. “If they did, that would be awesome, it would let me get everything rolling.”
Parker’s draft slot value is $346,800. He politely declined to discuss the financial terms of his contract.
Drafted players will receive $100,000 of their signing bonuses immediately and have the rest spread across the next two years, the Washington Post reported.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t care about that,” Parker said. “We just wanted to get the pro part started.”
Parker signed his contract on a Zoom meeting. The team faxed him the contract.
“That was one of the weirder Zoom calls I’ve ever had,” Parker said with a laugh. He said he’ll leave for St. Louis by the end of the month.