Bridwell, now 21 years old, was drafted by the Orioles in the 9th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Hereford High School (Texas) where he was a three sport star (football, basketball, and baseball). Parker grades out very well in my minor league player evaluations and he has a nice frame (6'4'' 190 lbs) with some room to build a little muscle, and Bridwell has the potential to be a good big league pitcher one day. He has a four pitch arsenal that includes a curveball, changeup, cutter, and a sinking fastball (ranges 90-95 MPH). His sinker is a very plus pitch and is very heavy when it comes across the plate. If located properly, his sinker will make him the definition of a ground ball pitcher, which is very valuable in this day of age in baseball. Perhaps his strongest attribute is his straight bulldog mentality, as he is up on the mound to get the hitter out and go all nine, which seems to be lacking in the big league game today.
In 2012, Bridwell pitched the entire season with the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds and had a very respectable season as he started a career high 22 games on the mound. Parker compiled a 5-9 record with a 5.98 ERA while striking out 71 in 114 1/3 innings pitched at the ripe age of 20. His career numbers after two and a half seasons in the minor leagues are respectable for a guy that made his professional debut at the age of 18. Bridwell has a career 5.58 ERA with 40 games started, 147 strikeouts and has only allowed 17 home runs in 195 1/3 innings pitched.
Parker was also kind enough to sit down with Orioles101 for an interview and respond to a few questions for our readers.
Orioles101: First I just want to thank you for taking the time to do this, I know our readers will enjoy it. First one for you, if you can put it into words, how did you feel/react when Baltimore drafted you in 2010?
Excited and speechless.
Orioles101: I bet. Growing up in Texas, who was your favorite team/player?
Orioles101: What about Nolan Ryan made you look up to him and did you try to take any parts of his game and model your pitching style after his?
He was a big tall right handed power pitcher who had an intense mentality and I haven't really tried to pitch his style mechanically, I feel like I have an intense mentality though.
Orioles101: That;s a great quality to have as a pitcher. What have you learned thus far through your two and a half professional seasons?
That it's a grind, never hang your head after a bad game cause you have a lot more than one game a year and that I'm lucky to have this job.
Orioles101: No doubt. In my opinion your sinker is straight nasty, when did you learn that pitch and who gets the credit for teaching it to you?
I actually kind of taught myself that pitch, my dad worked with me a lot as well as my high school coaches, Brandon Collins and Rosales.
Orioles101: Very impressive pitch bud! Do you know where your going to start the 2013 season? Delmarva? Frederick?
I have no clue, I wish I did, haha.
Orioles101: Haha, I hear you. What are you working on this offseason?
Legs and core strength. I'm living with Dylan and Bobby Bundy and working out with them everyday, so it's great workouts.
Orioles101: That's quite a household there! Last one for you Parker, who will win this year's Super Bowl?
Cowboys….hahaha sounds stupid, but I can't root against my team.
Orioles101: Haha, I never down a guy who stays true to his team. Just want to thank you Parker for taking the time to do this for us, good luck this season and hope to see you at the Yard sometime soon!
Not a problem at all, do anything for the Orioles fans and media. Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
Parker has a great head on his shoulders and if he continues to keep the work ethic he currently has, he may be just a two or three years away for Camden Yards. His sinker is a very plus pitch and there is always room in the big leagues for a ground ball power pitcher. He has a very bright future ahead of him!
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