FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As the first high school pitcher selected in the 2007 MLB Draft the sky was the limit for Norwell righty Jarrod Parker but injuries took their toll on the former Knights star who retired from baseball this week at the age of 29.
The ninth overall pick by the Diamondbacks, Parker eventually signed for $2.1 million dollars and one of the top prospects in baseball.
After an arm injury in Double-A required Tommy John surgery Parker bounced back and made his MLB debut for Arizona on September 27, 2011.
Traded to the Athletics in the offseason, the young Parker was a staple in the Athletics rotation, posting a 25-16 record and a 3.68 ERA in two season. In 2012, he was fifth in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting then set a club record in 2013 with 19 consecutive starts without a loss.
However, in spring training of 2014 Parker found he needed Tommy John again. After missing all of 2014 Parker was working his way back to the majors in Triple-A Nashville in May of 2015 when he suffered a fracture in his pitching elbow that sidelined him the rest of the summer.
After a year and a half of rehab he refractured the elbow in March of 2015, essentially putting an end to his pitching days where he was once considered the greatest baseball prospect the Fort Wayne area has ever produced.