08/20/07 10:05 PM ET
Notes: Parker introduced to media
D-backs' No. 1 Draft pick will start at rookie-level Missoula
By Jason Grey / Special to MLB.com
When asked who his favorite ballclub was growing up in Indiana, the D-backs' No. 1 Draft pick, Jarrod Parker -- who was introduced to the media on Monday -- was very politically correct. After some prodding, he did admit to following the White Sox, but made sure to stress his new allegiance to the club that selected him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
"This is an exciting day for all of us," said general manager Josh Byrnes. "Any time you draft a player and bring him in here, we get excited about the future."
The right-hander out of Norwell (Ind.) High School received a $2.1 million signing bonus. He was named the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year after going 12-0 with a 0.10 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 70 innings.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder, who has drawn comparisons to the Astros' Roy Oswalt, has tried to take inspiration from another right-hander that is not big in stature but has had Major League success.
"I think I've tried to model myself after Tim Lincecum this year," said the 18-year-old. "He's another supposedly undersized righty."
Parker's fastball sits at 93-94 mph, but he can dial it up to 98 mph when he needs to due to what scouts term "quick arm action."
Although his signing occurred less than two hours before the new Aug. 15 deadline, Parker never had any doubts that a deal would get done.
"There were some small things to iron out, but we knew it was going to happen," said Parker.
"[The D-backs] realize the kind of talent he has, but they'll find out very quickly what kind of person he is," said Parker's representative, Larry Reynolds.
Director of scouting Tom Allison said that Parker would be assigned to the organization's rookie-level team in Missoula, and Parker has some very specific goals as far as what he wants to improve on while he's there.
"I want to work in sinking my fastball and be more consistent with my offspeed pitches," said the newest member of the organization.
Milestone: Chris Young's steal of home on the front end of a double steal on Sunday made him the first rookie in National League history to have 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the same season. He is the eighth Major League rookie to accomplish that feat, the last being Carlos Beltran with the Royals in 1999.
"Coming into the year, I didn't know what to expect in my first Major League season," said Young. "I've had a lot of struggles this year but I've had a lot of good times as well. I just try to stay level-headed, even it out and continue working.
"I didn't expect to be 20/20, but I know I wanted to use the speed I was blessed with, because that's something that plays at every level. If I hit only 10 homers, I would have been happy if we were winning, but considering where we are right now, I'm pleased with my development so far. But at the same time, I have a long way to go."
As far as manager Bob Melvin is concerned, Young has had exactly the kind of demeanor that the center fielder was striving for.
"Nothing seems to bother him," said Melvin. "He has been unaffected by some failures this year while having a lot of success."
Internal affairs: During the course of the Parker press conference, Byrnes talked about how pleased he was with the organization's ability to develop talent from within, and his hopes that it will develop a more permanent fan base.
"This is something we've strived for," said the general manager. "We've all referred to our own experience as fans. I grew up an Orioles fan. [General partner and CEO] Jeff Moorad grew up a Dodgers fan. There was success and there was roster continuity, and I think that's the best thing we can deliver to our fans."
"Where we are now, we're hoping that the winning is starting and we know that our roster is pretty stable going forward. We'll suit up tonight with more than half our team homegrown, and there's a lot of pride internally about how we've done it and a lot of optimism about sustaining it."
Quotable: "Same stuff -- just having a little bit of good luck." -- Brandon Webb, in reference to his 42-inning scoreless streak
Still on the mend: D-backs assistant trainer Dave Edwards remains in Atlanta with an infection in his knee, severe enough that it rendered him unable to travel back home with the team on Sunday.
"I think he's probably going to be [in Atlanta] a couple of more nights," said Melvin. "They're trying to isolate where the spot of infection is."
Up next: The D-backs square off with Milwaukee in the second game of this three-game set on Tuesday evening. Livan Hernandez (9-7, 4.86 ERA) will take the mound against the Brewers' Dave Bush (9-9, 5.01). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MST.
Jason Grey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.