Rockies take broadcaster's son
Club selects pitcher Parker Frazier in eighth round of Draft
Rockies television viewers are familiar with analyst George Frazier's exacting breakdowns of fundamentals. But, often his job prevented him from being around to study the games pitched by his son, Parker.
Nonetheless, Parker Frazier, a slender right-hander, performed well enough at Tulsa (Okla.) Bishop Kelley High that the Rockies drafted him in the eighth round of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday -- partly because he received the familiar breakdowns, but from a different source.
"I always emphasized pounding the strike zone, but I've been gone for 10 years," George Frazier said. "Really, it was his mom."
George Frazier pitched in the Majors from 1978-87, earning a World Series ring with the Twins in his final season, which was the year before Parker was born. His wife, Kay Frazier, studied her husband's pitching, and has passed the knowledge to Parker.
"It was pretty cool," Parker Frazier said. "Sometimes, you hear parents yelling and they don't know what they're yelling, and it's funny at times. But my mom knows baseball, and she can see things I can't see.
"So usually, if she yelled something that I needed, my catcher would relay it to me or come out to the mound to tell me."
The fact the catcher listened is also significant. Parker was caught by junior Chris O'Brien, son of former Major League catcher Charlie O'Brien.
Kay Frazier's smile could be heard over the phone when Parker's words were relayed to her. Other than some typical generation gap harrumphing, the system worked pretty well.
"I learned all that stuff, because I've been taught well," she said. "When he wasn't throwing well, he'd say, 'Look for my arm slot,' or, 'Look where I'm landing. Am I falling off to the first-base side?' And he would welcome what I had to say.
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
"There were times when Parker would get mad when I'd yell out to him. But it didn't bother me. He'd correct it and we'd go on."
George scaled back his Rockies coverage in recent years to watch more of Parker's games. With mom and dad helping, he got a lot right. He went 9-2 with a 1.54 ERA in his senior season, with four shutouts and two one-hitters in 70 innings. In his last two seasons, he went 17-2 with 138 strikeouts.
"Sometimes, when your kid is drafted, you wonder, but teams don't do favors like that in the eighth round," said George Frazier, whose household experienced a big Friday. Not only was Parker selected by the Rockies, but his younger sister, Georgia, placed as third runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma Outstanding Teen Pageant that night.
Rockies scouting director Bill Schmidt said he directly told Frazier that Parker "was drafted on his own merits."
The Rockies also drafted two other sons with big names. They took Wichita State outfielder Kenny Williams, son of White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, in the 32nd round, and infielder Nick Gallego of Esperanza High in Yorba Linda, Calif., son of third-base coach Mike Gallego, in the 37th round.
The next step for Parker Frazier will be physical maturity. He's 6-foot-5 but weighs just 160 pounds. From playing basketball and baseball, he couldn't maintain weight, even if he ate "five peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in one day."
But there could be family help with that. Parker's oldest brother, Matthew, once worked in the Rockies' system as a strength and conditioning coach before moving into law enforcement in Tulsa.
Parker, who is expected to sign with the Rockies soon, admitted there could be pressure.
Not only will his father be a presence at Spring Training next year, but the Rookie-level team in Casper, Wyo., is not far from Denver. In the future, he could be playing Double-A ball in his hometown with the Tulsa Drillers, and Triple-A Colorado Springs is an easy plane trip from Tulsa and quick drive from Denver.
But he welcomes the pressure. This is a pitcher, who on occasion would ask to close out games he didn't start, and who once yelled, "See ya" as his game-ending pitch for a strikeout was on its way to home plate.
"I like pressure, going out there with the game on the line," he said. "I think it's fun."
He'll have plenty of help should he need it.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.