Clemson's football team was led to the 2009 Music City Bowl by top NFL Draft prospect C.J. Spiller, who may be taken off the board next month sometime in Round 1, if things go the way ESPN.com's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay project.
But the leader of that team was quarterback Kyle Parker, a junior signal-caller who threw for 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. It was Parker's first year as the starter, and it may be his last and only, especially if he keeps swinging the bat the way he has early this season.
Parker doubles as an outfielder for the Tigers baseball team, and as of Saturday night is hitting .408/.525/.796 with six home runs and an 11-8 BB/K ratio in 13 games. There's a good chance that the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Parker, who once threw for 171 yards and two scores in a spring game, then raced across the street and went 2-for-4 with a home run for the baseball team, is drafted high enough this June that football is no longer in his future.
Parker, a right-handed hitter, didn't do much on the Cape this past summer, and is still raw in some areas, but the results are undeniable early on, and one scout believes he's the better bet among the Parkers in the class. "Jarret [OF, Virginia] is a stronger, more projectable bat," the scout said, "but Kyle seems to have a better energy for the game, a better feel for what is going on when he's in the batter's box."
Kyle Parker is not likely to be a first-round pick - though things can change in a hurry - but he's expected to contend for a first-day selection, which could land him a sizeable six-figure bonus.
On the diamond
• Missouri right-hander Nick Tepesch took a hard grounder off his throwing elbow Saturday, and was removed from the game after one inning. Reports are that there was some swelling but that Tepesch is not expected to miss significant time.
• Notre Dame right-hander Brian Dupra, whom one scout called "a solid bet as a back-end starter or a good relief choice," went seven innings and allowed just two earned runs on six hits. He struck out eight and did not issue a base on balls. Dupra owns a 17-4 K/BB ratio in 22 innings, but has yielded 25 hits, including seven for extra bases. "It's command," the scout said. "When you don't have great stuff, your solid stuff needs to be commanded well."
• Christian Colon has his second multi-hit game of the week, singling, doubling and drawing a walk in CSF's 4-2 win over San Diego. Colon is up to .269/.377/.365 for the season.
• Bryce Brentz continued his assault on low-level pitching, smacking his sixth home run of the year Saturday after starting off the year slowly. The likely first-round pick is hitting .371/.451/.726 on the season, but has racked up 16 strikeouts, something that may be of concern to clubs come draft day.
• Tennessee southpaw Bryan Morgado struck out nine in seven one-hit frames versus Connecticut, the strongest showing of the year for the junior. Morgado walked three, but did not allow a run, improving to 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA and a 29-11 K/BB ratio. The ERA is bloated, as batters have produced a .188 average against Morgado, who typically sits in the low-90s with his fastball.
• UConn 3B Mike Olt's two-run homer was all the Huskies got off Vols pitching, though Olt went 0-for-3 with a strikeout versus Morgado.
• Tennessee catcher Blake Forsythe went 0-for-4 at the plate but gunned down a runner on the bases. First baseman Cody Hawn had two hits including his third long ball of the season. Hawn is hitting .381/.481/.690 with seven extra-base hits and a 9-6 BB/K ratio.
• Alabama SS Josh Rutledge collected four hits and a stolen base in a double-header Saturday, and is now hitting .353/.386/.647 for the year. Ross Wilson, projected as a big-league third baseman but playing second for the Tide, had three hits and seven RBI, thanks to his second and third home runs of the season. Wilson is up to .341/.463/.634 with 11 walks and just five whiffs. Seems if you combined the two infielders' seasons, they'd appear to be a first-round pick.
• Miami backstop Yasmani Grandal went 1-for-3 with a double and boast a .492 on-base percentage in 13 games. But the top catcher in the class, at least to start the year, has yet to homer.
• Texas right-hander Brandon Workman went 6 2/3 innings Saturday, striking out eight and allowing two runs on seven hits. But one scout in attendance isn't impressed a whole lot by Workman thus far, saying "I'm not sure if it's that he follows (Taylor) Jungmann, who has been outstanding, but I'm seeing Workman as a guy in the 30s or 40s at best."
• Longhorns closer Chance Ruffin, perhaps the best pure reliever in the class, tossed a scoreless inning for his fifth save of the year. Ruffin did not allow a batter to reach base. The right-hander has already appeared in 10 games, going 16 2/3 innings and surrendering just one earned run on eight hits. He's struck out 23 and walked just four.
• Auburn 1B Hunter Morris singled, homered and walked in 16-7 loss to Arizona State Saturday, and is hitting .426/.444/.689 with nine extra-base hits in 13 games. The problem with Morris' stat line is that he's drawn just one walk versus 13 strikeouts.
• Redlands East Valley High School (Calif.) left-hander Griffin Murphy allowed two unearned runs in four innings, striking out four and allowing two hits. He sat 87-91 with his fastball, despite getting just two days rest since his last appearance.
• Keith Law checks in, telling us that according to one source, Archbishop McCarthy third/first baseman Nick Castellanos, a potential first-round pick from the Miami area, is going to ask for $6 million or more in this year's draft, and if he doesn't get it, he'll go to the University of Miami and try his luck again in 2013.