Born: Fruitland, Maryland
Age: 21 (6/24/97)
Height/Weight: 6’3”/200 lbs.
School: University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
The two-way ace of Parkside High School, Hunter Parsons had an impressive senior year, batting over .300 and dominating on the mound. After earning All-State honors and being named the Bayside South Pitcher of the Year, he was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2015 MLB Draft with their 40th round pick, the 1204th player selected overall. Rather than sign with the Twins, Parsons elected to honor his commitment to the University of Maryland, becoming a Terrapin instead.
He played for the Baltimore Redbirds of the Cap Ripkin League and was named Pitcher of the Year just prior to his freshman year starting, and when it finally did, he took that success with him to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. Starting five games and pitching out of the bullpen for ten, the right-hander posted a 3.50 ERA in 36.0 innings, allowing 27 hits, walking 13, and striking out 28. Unfortunately, his sophomore season would not go as smoothly. In four starts and eight relief appearances, Parsons posted a 12.05 ERA in 2017, allowing 41 hits, walking 8, and striking out 24 in 21.2 innings. He went off and played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League, hoping to find himself, but things didn’t go much better there, as he posted a 6.75 ERA in 14.2 innings split over thirteen relief appearances. Things went much better for Parsons in 2018, and the right-hander emerged as the Maryland’s top starting pitcher. In 89.0 innings, he posted a 3.44 ERA, allowing 73 hits, walking 27, and striking out 26. He went undrafted and returned to Maryland for his senior season, posting a 3.45 ERA in 104.0 innings, allowing 88 hits, walking 32, and striking out 78.
Parsons has a well-proportioned, athletic build suited for pitching. He throws from three-quarters arm slot, with a long in the back. He uses his truck well, pushing off the mound and generating his power with his lower half. There is effort in his arm, whipping it forward, occasionally throwing crossfire. He hides the ball well during his windup with a high leg lift and by tucking his body in.
His fastball sits roughly around 90 MPH, generally settling in around 88-91 but occasionally hitting as high as 93 MPH. The pitch has life thanks to his whippy delivery and arm slot, and Parsons is able to move the pitch around, elevating it and throwing it low to change the batters’ eye levels. He complements his fastball with a curveball, slider, and changeup. The curveball, which features 11-5 break, sits in the mid-70s and has big depth. His slider, which sits in the upper-70s, has slight tilt and is mainly a weapon against left-handed hitters. His changeup, which sits 77-80 MPH, has late tumble and is thrown with the same arm speed and release point as his fastball. In terms of effectiveness, his changeup is his best secondary pitch, followed by his slider and curve.