ADRIAN, Mich.--Recent Adrian College graduate Tommy Parsons (New Albany, Ohio) has signed a Major League Baseball Free Agent Contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Club announced. Parsons, who becomes the second Bulldog in as many years to sign with a MLB club, has been assigned to the organization's rookie team the Johnson City Cardinals of the Appalachian League.
"Tommy has worked extremely hard in our program and I believe he has developed into a MLB player," said Coach Craig Rainey, who wrapped up his 25th season at the helm. "Tommy came into our program with an 83-85 mph fastball and has worked to get his velocity up to 90-93 in four short years. I believe his best days are ahead of him as he continues to fill into his 6-foot-5 frame. Tommy is a great example that if you work hard enough and want it bad enough, you can achieve it."
Johnson City opens its season on June 19 with a three-game series with Bluefield.
In 2018, Parsons earned numerous postseason accolades on the field and in the classroom: American Baseball Coaches' Association All-America First Team, D3baseball.com All-America Second Team, Mideast Pitcher of the Year by both the ABCA and D3baseball, Google Cloud Academic All-America® Third Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Earlier this month, Parsons became the first Adrian baseball Academic All-America® student-athlete since Matthew Bruder in 1995.
The 185-pound right-hander is a three-time Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year, posting an 11-0 mark with one save while leading the MIAA in earned-run average (1.72), victories, strikeouts (109), shutouts (2), complete games (10) and innings pitched (94.0). Opponents hit just .232 against him. Among NCAA Division III leaders, Parsons is first in complete games, third in strikeout-to-walks ratio (15.57), fifth in strikeouts and walks allowed per nine innings (0.67), 21st in WHIP (0.95) and 32nd in ERA. He has been on D3baseball's and ABCA all-region first team for the three consecutive years.
"Tommy's record and accomplishments speak for themselves," Rainey stated. "What he has done on the mound for Adrian College is remarkable and for him to get his shot at the next level is great for our program, but also for Division III baseball. He is one of the most decorated players to leave our program."
Parsons ended his AC tenure as the NCAA all-Divisions active career leader with 40 wins against only four losses, including a personal 23-game winning streak. Among current Division III all-time leaders, the business management graduate is first in complete games (24), second with seven shutouts and fourth with 288 strikeouts. As a junior, he went 44.1 innings without issuing a walk for what is believed to be a NCAA III record.
He helped the Bulldogs sweep the MIAA regular-season and tournament championships for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, extending their conference-record of 10-consecutive first-place finishes. He factored into two of Adrian's three victories en route to the MIAA tourney crown that garners an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship, picking up a 9-2 win over Calvin and his first career save versus Hope to clinch it. In 10 innings, he allowed just two earned runs while striking out nine (and no walks).
Parsons joins Ryan Dorow--who was selected in the 30th round by the Texas Rangers of the 2017 MLB First-Year Amateur Draft--as Bulldogs to sign with big league organizations in back-to-back years.
"Adrian College Baseball is excited to have Tommy and Ryan Dorow representing our program at the next level," Rainey said. "Both fine young men but also great talents on the field, truly a GDTBAB."
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