SAUCIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Former West Harrison and MGCCC outfielder Brandon Parker was selected in the 10th round (307th overall) by the Atlanta Braves in the 2019 MLB Draft. He entered the draft as the #28 JUCO prospect according to Perfect Game Baseball.
“I was kind of speechless," Parker told WLOX. “You get to carry on one of your lifelong dreams since you (were) a little kid. You wake up, go to the field and plan on being a big-leaguer one day. That’s what you work for, that’s what all the time and effort goes into.”
Parker previously signed to continue his collegiate career at Dallas Baptist University, but confirmed to WLOX that he will sign with Atlanta to pursue a career in professional baseball.
Parker grew up a lifelong Braves fan, and said the club started showing interest in drafting him early on in his MGCCC career.
“They really liked me last year, things just didn’t happen the way that I wanted it to. It’s just one of those things,” Parker said. “But this year it finally started unfolding and Smoke Laval, the area scout (for Atlanta), he really loved me. He had a good relationship with my adviser and they made things work out.”
The former Hurricane quickly made an impact in Perkinston, winning NJCAA Division II National Player of the Year as well as earning All-American, All-Region 23 and All-MACJC honors after his stellar freshman campaign. That year, Parker broke the Gulf Coast single-season home run record with 24 and drove in an NJCAA-leading 81 runs. His efforts earned him a place on the NJCAA National Team which finished second at the NBC World Series.
In his sophomore year, Parker averaged .359 at the plate to go with 48 RBI and a team-leading 14 home runs.
“I was obviously decent in high school, but nobody expected me to go pro or to the next level," Parker said. "I really felt that and wanted to work my butt off at JUCO and give myself a name and prove people wrong, and that’s what I had to do. I really grinded and made it to where I am today.”
As a senior at West Harrison High School, Parker batted .337 with five home runs and 29 RBI.
Editor’s Note - This story was updated on Thursday, June 6 after Parker confirmed he will sign with Atlanta.