During a recent visit to Colorado Springs, I had a chance to sit down with former Tulsa Drillers and current Colorado Springs Sky Sox outfielder Kyle Parker. After earning All-Star credentials with Tulsa last year thanks to a .288 average with 23 homers and 74 RBIs, Parker has logged seven homers and 37 RBIs to go along with a .291 average at the Triple-A level (heading into action on June 14). Over his last 10 games, Parker is hitting .324, including a 3-for-4 performance with two RBIs in Friday night's loss to Salt Lake City.
Kevin Henry: What’s the biggest difference you’ve seen between Double-A and Triple-A?
Parker: The guys who are playing here have been all around for a while. There are guys pitching here who have been in the big leagues so it’s going to be a challenge every night. But that’s to be expected. Every level you go up, the level of competition increases. Here, you know you’re going to see better pitchers on a daily basis.
Henry: Your offseason included a stint in the Fall League. How was that for you?
Parker: I played a lot of baseball in the offseason, and I learned how to play first base. That was a whole new world. It took me a while to figure it out because it’s a completely different position than I was used to playing, but it was a good experience.
Henry: What’s been the biggest difference between Tulsa and Colorado Springs?
Parker: The travel. We’re at the airport a lot more than last year. Instead of all night bus trips, we’re now getting on 6 a.m. flights to get somewhere to play that night. It definitely makes for some long days.
Henry: What kind of goals do you have for yourself for the rest of the season?
Parker: I’m taking things one game at a time. I’m here to help this team win as many games as we can and that’s my focus.