Herndon center fielder Ky Parrott weighs his options

June 12, 2013

Herndon center fielder Ky Parrott, a James Madison University signee, got drafted in the 26th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. (Richard A. Lipski for The Washington Post)

The scouts who showed up at a Madison-Herndon baseball scrimmage in March to eyeball Madison All-Met shortstop Andy McGuire knew nothing about Herndon senior Ky Parrott.

But a Milwaukee Brewers scout with area ties, Dan Nellum, made note of Parrott that day, after the center fielder homered and robbed a Warhawk of a home run with an impressive catch at the fence.

Late in the season, the Brewers even brought in their regional and national cross-checkers to take a look at the James Madison University signee. The brass must have liked what they saw, because Milwaukee selected Parrott in the 26th round of the first-year player draft Saturday, which no doubt gave the possible Brewer-to-be something to talk about at prom that night.

“I was a little shocked,” Parrott said. “I expected to go in the mid-30s or even late-30s. It kind of came out of nowhere. Coming into the season, I didn’t think I’d get drafted out of high school for sure.”

Even though several scouts saw the same initial performance that Nellum saw, Milwaukee was the only professional organization this season that showed much interest in Parrott, a second-team all-Northern Region pick whose batting average (.308) was not particularly flashy but whose 16 hits included nine for extra bases, with four home runs.

“We kind of knew that if he was going to get drafted, it would be by the Brewers,” said Herndon Coach Greg Miller, a member of the school’s all-century team who got drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round out of JMU in 2001. “Knowing Milwaukee was really the only team in town, they could have [waited until] the 40th round and gotten him. It just goes to show you how much they think of Ky.”

Nellum, a 1988 St. John’s graduate and former assistant at Old Dominion, Georgetown and Navy as well as a former Clark Griffith League coach, has given Miller an example he can cite for years with his players, whether Parrott signs or not.

“No scout was there to see Ky Parrott that day, and he got noticed,” Miller said. “Whether it’s a college or a summer travel league coach, you never know who’s watching. Ky just took advantage of a great opportunity to perform in front of major league scouts.”

(By the way, Madison thumped Herndon so badly that day that Herndon turned off the scoreboard during the scrimmage so as to not bruise the Hornets’ confidence too much headed into the season).

Parrott plans to meet with the Brewers in the next week or so to discuss his options. If he signs, he would be the second Herndon player currently in a big-league farm system. Outfielder Brandon Guyer, a 2004 All-Met, is with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Class AAA team in Durham, N.C. Guyer had 50 plate appearances with the big-league club in 2011 and 2012.

Parrott, the 782nd selection in the draft, ended up being selected 10 rounds ahead of McGuire, a projected fourth- to sixth-round pick who had the leverage of a University of Texas scholarship and might have been considered difficult to sign. So McGuire slid to the Colorado Rockies with the 1,069th pick.

“It’s very nice to have options,” Parrott said. “It’s kind of a problem, but it’s a good problem to have.”

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