Ruff’s Road to the Show Report: Parker Caracci

This week’s interview was with former Ole Miss closer and current Blue Jays prospect, Parker Caracci. In addition to his time at Ole Miss, he was also selected to the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

Q: What was your favorite SEC town or park outside of Ole Miss?

A: Arkansas, it’s always loud there, they always have a good turnout. It’s just fun, it makes it not so bad going to an away series.

Q: So are they [Arkansas] the most hostile fan base you’ve encountered?

A: I don’t really know, I didn’t really have many hostile fans towards me. Everywhere we go there were those few fans who would heckle the outfielders and stuff, but I can’t think of one specific fan base that was worse than another.

Q: What was your biggest adjustment from college to pro ball?

A: Playing every day, whereas in college you play on the weekends and then one or two mid week series. In pro ball it’s every day, except for Monday. You have to take advantage of that off day, whereas college you have time to recover, and you have plenty of time to do other things.

Q: How often in the minors do you play against play against somebody that you played against in college?

A: Just about every series. I feel like whenever somebody’s name is up on the board I’ll look up there, I hear a name, and I’ll think it sounds familiar. If it nags me long enough I’ll look up the person and see where they went to college, and a lot of times I’ve played against them before.

Q: What was it like being chosen to represent team USA as one of the best Collegiate pitchers in the country?

A: It was a great honor. I mean up until then I never thought I would be able to play for team USA, and then I was asked by Paul Mainieri to come up there with them, it was just an incredible experience and an incredible honor. I loved every minute of it.

Q: Which do you feel better prepared you for pro ball, Team USA or playing in the SEC?

A: You know I could really go both ways with this. In college, in the sec, you’re facing a lot of the best players in the country and a lot of ranked teams throughout the season. With team USA you have the best players in country, and then also it’s people that you’ve never played with before. You don’t know their tendencies, just like when you get into pro ball or somebody gets moved up or down. [It’s] like the beginning of the season, you don’t [know], you just have to put it all together

Q: Who was Favorite player growing up or the player you modeled your game after?

A: Honestly, I don’t really watch baseball. I’ve always played it growing up, and then in college. I didn’t want to go do baseball for five to six hours a day, then go home and watch baseball.

Q: Do you have a favorite baseball movie?

A: Angels in the Outfield has got to be it.

Q: Which is a better feeling: blowing a fastball by a hitter or making them look silly on a off speed pitch?

A: Throwing a fastball, blowing it by them.

Q: If you could take one pitch from any pitcher in MLB history and add it to your repertoire, what pitch and from whom?

A: Kenley Janson’s cutter, that’d be great.

Me: That’s a good choice

PC: That’d be great

Me: 97 mph that starts on one half of the plate and ends up on the other. That would be nice.

Q: Who was your funniest college teammate?

A: Probably Cooper Johnson, he was drafted by the Tigers, he’s a funny guy once you get to know him.

Q: Have you ever been on the wrong side of a bullpen prank, or pulled a bullpen prank on someone else?

A: No.

Q: So last week I interviewed Jake Mangum (Parker’s High school teammate); Bottom of the ninth, two out, bases loaded, you’re pitching, he’s hitting, wins a playoff series. Who wins the battle and why?

A: It’s up in the air. We’ve gone back and forth every time we’ve played against each other. He’s gotten two hits off of me, and I’ve gotten him out twice, so it really just depends. I think I win it though!

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