Kyle Parker left the field at halftime of the Meineke Car Care Bowl with a broken rib and didn’t return in the second half. Over the past two months Kyle’s ribs have healed and he is ready to start his professional baseball career with the Colorado Rockies.
“I feel really good now. I am all healed up. I am ready to start playing,” said Parker.
In early January Kyle made a trip out to Colorado.
“I went out to Colorado in January. I got a physical and got cleared,” said Parker.
During the examinations by the doctors in Colorado Kyle learned that he had been playing with a broken rib during his final season as the starting quarterback for the Tigers.
“One of the doctors out there told me at least one of my ribs had been broken for a while. He said he could tell because of the calcium buildup. He said it definitely wasn’t just broken for a few days. It is difficult to spot the cracks sometimes in the x-rays. During the season it continued to bother me, but I thought they were just bruised. It sounds like with the calcium buildup that they may have been broken,” said Parker.
After his trip to Colorado, Kyle began to focus on preparing for professional baseball. Kyle went back to the High Intensity Training Center in Jacksonville a place that helped him become a high school All-American in football and a two-sport standout at Clemson.
“I have been in between a couple of places. I spent the majority of my time in Jacksonville. I worked out down there at the HIT center there. They had a couple of big leaguers working out there, but it was mainly a lot of NFL guys,” said Parker.
Kyle also spent time in Atlanta working out with other big leaguers getting ready for his first season with the Rockies.
“I was also in Atlanta working out with Ryan Golden. He has worked with a lot of baseball guys. I did some hitting with CJ Stewart in Atlanta. He works with a lot of the big league guys,” said Parker.
Next week Kyle will leave for his first spring training with the Rockies.
“I am leaving in a week to go out for spring training. The first day we can report is February 28 and we have to be there by March 11. I am going to leave by the 7th. I am going to get some more workouts in before I go out. If I went out earlier I figured I would be hanging around the facility with the big leaguers but not getting as much work in as I can here,” said Parker.
After spring training Kyle is expected to head back to the Carolinas and play for the Asheville Tourists.
“They have told me Asheville is where I will most likely end up after spring training. Spring training lasts for about a month so I think I will probably be in Asheville sometime in early April,” said Parker.
The Clemson baseball team is off to a fast 5-1 start in a season they hope ends with another trip to Omaha. Kyle has been following the Tigers closely and is not surprised by the early success.
“I have talked with coach Leggett a couple of times and have been following there games. I am happy with how they are doing, but not surprised at all. I knew they would have a great team this year,” said Parker.
After spending year splitting time between football and baseball the former Tiger can finally concentrate on one sport.
“It feels really good to be focused on baseball. It has been a lot less stressful. I have been able to concentrate on working out and getting ready. I am excited to start playing,” said Parker.
Kyle would certainly love to be part of another College World Series, but he feels good about his decision to sign with the Rockies and begin his professional career.
“I feel really good about my decision. What made my decision easier was knowing that they took me as a first round pick and have a big investment in seeing me succeed. I know they will give me an opportunity. They will be counting on me to make the best of that opportunity,” said Parker.