May 20, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Parker looks to succeed at Purdue

Dalton Parker has seen his share of ups and downs during his baseball career.

Parker, a 2016 graduate of St. Joseph-Ogden High School, was revered as one of the best arms to play for the Spartans.

After graduation, he took his game to the next level at Purdue University in nearby West Lafayette, Indiana.

However, the past year wasn’t one that Parker would like to relive, as he was dealing with some injuries and the Boilermakers endured a subpar season, missing the Big Ten tournament as a result.

“I didn’t have the best of years in 2019 due to my injuries, but I’m getting back to 100% and want to be a senior leader on the team when I return to campus in the fall,” Parker said.

Parker will be spending the summer out east working out at Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts, the same place that he spent last summer as well.

Last summer was a tough transition being away from home, but now that this is his second time away, it’s a little different this time around.

“Came to Boston for the first-time last summer, and that was an experience for me. But this year, it’s a different mindset and I know more of what to expect. I’ve worked hard for what I’ve accomplished and want to make my senior season at Purdue one to remember,” Parker said.

Parker had interest out of high school by major league teams, as scouts were a regular occurrence at his games. But, he decided to go to college instead.

“The financial terms were not met for my draft status, and besides, I wanted to develop more, and going to Purdue would help me do that,” Parker said. “There were plenty of scouts that attended my games, and after a while, you don’t pay attention to their radar guns and notebooks.”

The plan for Parker is to train at Cressey all summer long, and then towards the end, some other options might become available for him.

“The training during the summer helps with your development and they have a really good plan with their pitcher development plan,” Parker said. “If everything goes well, there is an outside chance of me pitching in the Cape Cod League for a bit.”

The Cape Cod League is a top-tier league for college players to hone their skills away from their respective campuses.

Scouts that attend the games are much higher caliber, and according to Parker, the chances of getting noticed are much better in this league.

“If you’re good enough, someone will discover you in that (Cape Cod) league. Hopefully, I get the chance to play a little bit while I’m out here, but we’ll see how everything goes,” Parker said.

Parker credits the SJO coaching staff and his playing experience for a smooth transition to the collegiate game.

“They (the coaching staff) really made the transition non-existent and you are very prepared for the next level. The coaches give you a competitive edge and a good mindset, which is a necessity at the next level,” Parker said.

Parker admittedly has a lot of work to do to be drafted, but like most players in his situation, that is the goal; to see his name called in the MLB first-year player draft.

Who knows, with a little help from his friends in Boston, Parker just might achieve that dream sooner than later.

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