Recently called “mind-boggling” in a Dallas News College Sports Blog, Parker French is only a freshman at UT-Austin, but has quickly made his mark on the mound pitching for the Longhorns baseball program.
French is 6’2 and weighs 195, a right-hander whose fastball was clocked “grazing 90” (89-91MPH) in a scouting report that described French’s arm as having “durable power build that can help him in the future” which “also showed the makings of a hard slider.”
While at DSHS, according to his Longhorn profile, Parker was already a contender:
- Lettered all four years at Dripping Springs High School under Coach Chris Payne
- Named to the All-District Second Team as a freshman and a sophomore
- Won District 26-4A MVP, First Team All-Centex and First Team All-State as a junior
- Awarded First Team All-District and First Team All-Centex as a senior
- Hit a cumulative .427 in his four years at Dripping Springs
Fresh from Dripping Springs, as a freshman Longhorn, French has hurled more than 32 scoreless innings at home this season, prompting the Daily Texan campus newspaper to ask whether there is something special about the mound at Dish Falk Field that Parker really likes.
Around Dripping Springs asked French that question and more, answered here in his own words. Meet Parker French!
ARE YOU A NATIVE OF DRIPPING SPRINGS?
I have lived in Dripping Springs for about 14 years now. I was actually born in Melbourne, Australia but moved to Connecticut after only six weeks. I lived in Connecticut for five years before moving to Dripping Springs
WHAT WAS YOUR ACADEMIC RANK AND ANY RECOGNITIONS FROM DSHS?
I was in the top 11% of the DSHS Class of 2011. I was in National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.
WAS UT-AUSTIN YOUR FIRST CHOICE FOR COLLEGE?
Yes, it has always been my first choice. I was a Longhorn growing up, since both of my parents attended UT. I grew up going to a lot of baseball games and fell in love with the team and the atmosphere. When Texas became interested in me during my Junior year, they were at the top of the list. I have always wanted to play in the College World Series and win a National Championship and I felt UT gives me a great chance to do both.
WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING BALL AND HOW DID IT TURN TO PITCHING?
I started playing in the backyard with my dad when I was three-years old. I played for the first time competitively when I was four. Early in my career I was actually better at hitting than I was at pitching. It was around sophomore year that I started to throw pretty hard and pitching took over as my dominant skill. Ever since then, my pitching has taken off and become my dominant position.
WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR DSHS CAREER ON THE MOUND?
There were so many great memories and big games, but the one that sticks out the most is when I threw a no-hitter against Lake Travis my senior year. It was my first career no-hitter and it came against our most hated rival, which made it even sweeter. That was also probably the most locked-in I have ever been on the mound, and definitely an outing that I will never forget.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO THROWING MORE THAN 32 SCORELESS INNINGS AT HOME IN YOUR FRESHMAN SEASON THIS YEAR? NICE WORK!
Thank you. I don’t know if it is the mound, but something sure is working! I think since we threw so much during the fall and spring scrimmages at home that I became comfortable to the overall feel of the UT field and stadium. I have been very comfortable pitching at home which has helped me be more relaxed and be myself on the mound. I consider myself very lucky and blessed to have had this kind of success this early in my college career and can only hope for more to come.
WHAT ARE YOU ASPIRATIONS AS A UT BALL PLAYER?
Our main goal as a team is to win a National Championship. That is the expectation when coming to a place like this. But other than that I would say to represent the University, my family, and my community with class and humility and be a good role model to those watching me play. Also, in my career, I want to work hard to reach my full potential and play hard so when I look back on it, I will have no regrets.
WHAT ARE YOUR ACADEMIC ASPIRATIONS AT UT?
Currently, I am in the McCombs Business School at UT and I am still deciding my major. I am leaning toward a degree in either finance or marketing. My main goal is to someday open up my own business, once I am done playing baseball.
DO YOU HAVE MLB ASPIRATIONS AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM TEAM?
Yes, another dream of mine is to one day play in the major leagues. I think I have wanted to ever since I was a little kid. My dream team would definitely be the Boston Red Sox. I love everything about the organization, especially their class and the amount of tradition that surrounds the team. It would be really awesome to get to play home games at Fenway Park.
HOW DID DRIPPING SPRINGS – THE SCHOOL AND THE COMMUNITY – HELP PREPARE YOU FOR THE SUCCESSES YOU’RE NOW HAVING?
I think it taught me how to work hard and be humble. At DSHS the courses were challenging which made you buckle down as a student, and the coaches didn’t care who you were, they were going to push you to your limits. That helped instill a work ethic that has helped me have success now at the next level. Another thing that has helped with my success is learning how to deal with failure. I was lucky enough to play varsity baseball at DSHS as a freshman, but what came with that was a lot of ups and downs. Being able to come back stronger from such failures early in my high school career, has now helped me on and off the field so far in college.
THANK YOU, PARKER! HOPE TO SEE YOU AROUND DRIPPING SOON!
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