Rockies draft Kyle Parker in first round

The (Charleston) Post and CourierJune 7, 2010 

Clemson Practice Baseball

Clemson's Kyle Parker, a two-sport athlete for the Tigers, warms up on the first day of college baseball practice on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. Parker, who quarterbacked the 2009 Clemson football team to a 9-5 record, also plays right field on the baseball team. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

AP PHOTO/ANDERSON INDEPENDENT-MAIL, MARK CRAMMER

AUBURN, Ala. | The Colorado Rockies selected Clemson two-sport star Kyle Parker with the 26th pick in Monday’s Major League Baseball draft.

The selection occurred in the middle of the seventh inning of the Clemson-Auburn NCAA elimination game. A roar erupted from the Parker family in the Clemson seating section, where hugs where exchanged. It was quite a night for Parker, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning.

The question for Clemson remains the status of its starting quarterback, and the first-round selection by the Rockies does not bode well for the Tigers.

Last season, the Rockies selected Tyler Matzek in the first round, a high school lefty who fell due to signing demands. The Rockies signed Matzek to a $3.9 million bonus.

In 2008, the Rockies gave Christian Freidrich, the 25th pick, $1.35 million.

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney might not know for weeks, perhaps months, after negotiations commence whether his starting quarterback will return.

“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,” Swinney said in a release. “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 postseason play. At least now we know where he stands.

“Kyle is a fine young man, and we willrespect 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.”

The Parker camp has not announced a dollar figure it is looking for other than saying its seeking “life-changing” money in regard to giving up football.

On Sunday, Parker’s father, Carl, told the Post and Courier the camp was open to creative contracts. He also said earlier this year “why pass up one life-changing opportunity” while waiting for “another.”

Last season’s 26th pick, Eric Arnett, received a $1.97 million signing bonus.

The Rockies have recent history with Clemson, having selected former Tiger first baseman Ben Paulsen in the third round last season.

Elsewhere, The Citadel starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was selected with the ninth pick in the Compensation A round between the first and second rounds. He went 42nd overall to the Toronto Blue Jays and is the program’s highest draft pick ever.

Wojciechowski was 5-1 with a 4.50 earned-run average as a freshman in 2008 and 3-3 with a 4.39 ERA during an injury-plagued sophomore season last year.

But an impressive performance in the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament — he struck out 15 batters against Elon — helped him earn an invitation to play for the U.S. National Team.

He went 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA for Team USA, then carried that momentum into his junior season, compiling a 12-3 record with a 3.58 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings. He was named SoCon pitcher of the year and earned All-America honors.

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