HomeTeamsNationalsMitchell Parker Makes Name for Himself after Shutting Down Powerhouses 

Mitchell Parker Makes Name for Himself after Shutting Down Powerhouses 

One name Nationals fans weren’t expecting to hear this season was Mitchell Parker. It’s safe to say that almost every MLB fan wasn’t expecting to hear so much about this lefty pitcher within the first seven days since he debuted. But his pitching performances have warranted all the hype.

After Opening Day starter Josiah Gray went on the injured list, Washington’s No. 21 prospect received the call. However, he might be the most unlikely rookie star to have graced the Majors so far in 2024.

The Albuquerque native, Parker started his post high school baseball career at San Jacinto College, a junior college in Pasadena, Texas. In 2020, he led all NJCAA Division 1 with 64 strikeouts in his shortened covid season. 

After being drafted in the fifth round by the Nationals in June of 2020, Parker worked his way up in the minors, primarily playing for the Harrisburg Senators in 2023, Washington’s Double A affiliate. Starting this season at Rochester, their Triple A, he was called up on April 15th after injuries have continued to plague Washington’s pitching staff in the first few weeks this season. 

However, he didn’t have much time to celebrate as he was greeted with one of the best offenses in the league, a nightmare for most pitchers, that of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Betts, Ohtani, and Freeman were the juggernauts on the welcoming committee squad that Parker faced. But the 24 year old thrived under the bright lights, throwing five innings, striking out four and only giving up two earned runs on four hits as he led the Nationals to the win.

But he didn’t stop there – Parker made even bigger waves in his outing yesterday afternoon against the Houston Astros. In the rubber match game, Parker superseded his first Major League outing, besting every single stat. His seven inning, shutout performance including eight strikeouts and only three hits, boosted the Nationals to their second straight series win. 

His deception between his pitches, primarily throwing curveballs, fastballs, and splitters proved to fool the majority of Major Leaguers that he has faced so far. He became only the fifth player in AL/NL history since 1901 to strike out at least 12 hitters without garnering a walk in his first two career starts, joining Shota Imanaga, Tanner Bibee, Johnny Cueto and Andy Sonnanstine. He also became the first player in Nationals history to throw seven or more scoreless innings in less than 75 pitches and the first one to do so in the MLB since Kyle Wright did it for the Braves in 2022.

“He’s had an incredible start, and playing behind him, he’s thrown a lot of good innings,” said Luis García Jr. in Spanish after Sunday’s game. “We feel comfortable playing behind him, and we feel like good things will happen.” 

If Parker can sustain consistent outings like he did in his first two career starts, it will be hard for Davey Martinez to not put his name on the lineup card every five days.

Anna Laible
Anna Laiblehttps://mlbreport.com/
Anna Laible is a freshman at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Media and Journalism and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Spanish. Since she was 14 years old, she has been a reporter for Sports Illustrated Kids and has also had the opportunity to write for mlb.com over the past two years as their first and only teenager. When sporting events changed due to COVID-19, she started her own sports podcast, Speak Up Sports, in March of 2021 and has now done 6 seasons. Currently, she is working on expanding her knowledge and skill sets by writing for the school newspaper called "The Daily Tar Heel", publishing twice a week content for Sports Xtra (UNC's sports broadcast for students), and working for GoHeels Productions (which provides the sports broadcasting portions of UNC live sports coverage for the ACC Network and ESPN) as she prepares to cover the Paris Olympics this summer. If you are interested in checking out any of her other work, you can find it all here: https://linktr.ee/annalaible


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here