Clemson's Parker a first-round MLB draft pick

June, 8, 2010
6/08/10
6:33
AM ET
Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the first round of the MLB draft on Monday night. Parker was the 26th overall selection of the draft.

What does this mean for Clemson football?

[+] EnlargeKyle Parker
John Reed/US PresswireParker's three-run homer in the first inning Monday against Auburn gave him 61 RBIs for the year.
More than likely, it's time to meet Tajh Boyd.

It's probably going to be difficult for Parker to turn down first-round money, but it's a decision only he can make and one he won't make until his baseball season is over. Clemson earned a 13-7 win over No. 1 seed Auburn to clinch a regional title on Monday.
“I am happy for Kyle,” coach Dabo Swinney said in a prepared statement. “He has worked hard all season. He has had a tremendous baseball season after he had a terrific year at quarterback for us in the fall. Being the first 20-20 (touchdown passes and home runs) athlete in college sports history is really quite an accomplishment.

“It is not surprising that he was drafted by Colorado because they have had great success with Todd Helton, who also played quarterback at Tennessee.

“We will sit down with Kyle and his family some time after the baseball season ends. We won’t do anything to disrupt our baseball team in post season play. At least now we know where he stands.

“Kyle is a fine young man and we will respect whatever decision he makes. I feel he has a bright future in football as well and certainly hope he will be under center for us this fall.”

Swinney should also hope Boyd is ready to start at Auburn on Sept. 18. And Florida State fans should be elated.

Clemson and FSU were expected to be the front-runners to win the Atlantic Division this fall, but without Parker on the roster, the Seminoles would have an even bigger edge at quarterback where Christian Ponder is capable of a Heisman-worthy senior season. It would also open the door even wider for Boston College, who would have been in contention regardless of Parker's situation.

Boyd has undeniable raw talent, but he won't have C.J. Spiller or Jacoby Ford to help take the pressure off of him if he's the new starter. The good news is that Clemson's schedule starts with two should-win games against North Texas and Presbyterian which would help Boyd through the initiation process. If Parker decides to leave, though, this summer will be critical for Boyd's development. Nothing, though, can substitute for game experience.

ESPN.com's baseball analysts Keith Law and Jason A. Churchill thought Parker's place in the draft was surprisingly high. Here's what Law had to say on Parker:
Parker's college football career is almost certainly over now that he's been selected in the first round but I have heard major reservations from area scouts about his tools. Despite playing quarterback at Clemson, his arm doesn't translate well to baseball, and he's a below-average runner who's probably limited to first base, DH or maybe left field, if you're optimistic. In a field where defense really matters in Colorado, Parker is really going to have to max out his above-average raw power.

A few other notes on Parker:

  • Parker leads the Clemson baseball team in home runs, runs scored, slugging percentage and on-base percentage this year. He hit his 20th home run of the season on Monday night in the first inning of the NCAA Regional against Auburn.
  • This past football season, Parker threw 20 touchdown passes as Clemson’s starting quarterback, helping the Tigers to a 9-5 record, the Atlantic Division title and a No. 24 final ranking in the Associated Press poll. Parker tied for first in the nation in wins by a starting freshman quarterback with nine.
  • Parker is the first Division I athlete to record 20 touchdown passes and hit 20 home runs in baseball in the same academic year. He was also the first ACC athlete to play on a Division champion in football and baseball in the same year.
  • The two-time first-team All-ACC player was hitting .358 entering Monday night's game with 58 RBIs. His three-run homer in the first inning gave him 61 RBIs for the year. For his three-year baseball career, he has 46 home runs, eighth best in Clemson history, and he is just 13 short of the Clemson career record. He is also just the eighth player in Clemson history to hit at least 20 home runs in a season.
  • Parker is the first Clemson player taken in the first round since Daniel Moskos was the fourth pick of the 2007 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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