For the past two seasons, Parker Dunshee was a key member of the Wake Forest starting rotation. In four seasons at Wake, Dunshee had a 3.30 ERA and 330 strike-outs in 326 innings pitched. He began his career in the Demon Deacons’ bullpen but moved into the rotation during the latter part of his sophomore season.
The Oakland Athletics selected Dunshee in the seventh-round of the 2017 MLB draft. Thus far, his professional debut has been nothing short of spectacular. After one appearance in the Arizona Rookie League, Dunshee was moved up to short-season Vermont. In 27.1 innings with the Lake Monsters, Dunshee has yet to allow a run. He has given up just 11 hits and six walks and he has struck out 32.
Donald Moore spoke with Dunshee about his progress during his first professional season.
Donald Moore: Hi Parker, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Parker Dunshee: It’s going well. I like the atmosphere with the guys and we have a pretty good group of guys, so it’s fun.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
PD: Get your feet wet in pro ball, kind of experience what it’s like and get into a routine and try to perform well.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
PD: I’d say my competitiveness and being a pretty good athlete and being able to repeat my delivery and kind of go after people and throw a bunch of strikes.
DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
PD: You can always get better refining your pitches and command of all of them, so just keep refining my command. It’s something I work on when I play catch. Oakland is big on change up development, so I have been working on that since I’ve been here.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
PD: Oh, it’s fun. It’s been a long season since we started back in February in college but it’s fun because we have a good group of guys, and it’s all about who you are surrounded with and that’s what makes it better.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional athlete?
PD: I don’t know, just being able to interact with other guys who are in the same situation and meet a bunch of news guys you never met before, and the great relationships that are going to last for a long time. And hopefully move with these guys through the system.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
PD: Not really. I don’t have a specific thing I do on game day when I pitch, but I kind of keep it simple and try to improve everyday.
DM: Any hobbies?
PD: I like to play basketball. I like to fish and golf, as well.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
PD: Probably the Cardinals.
DM: Where are you originally from?
PD: Indianapolis, Indiana.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
PD: Probably my dad growing up. He was always involved with me in baseball career I guess from Little League and coaching and always helping me and just always being supportive no matter what. And never being over bearing, so probably him..
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
PD: I have seen a lot of crazy things. But one of them happened this year when we turned a 4-6-3 triple play, down three in the top of the ninth inning at home and we were down three and ended up winning in the bottom of the ninth.So we turned a triple play and came back with four runs in the bottom of the ninth and won the game. That was pretty cool and happened just this year. There are a lot of crazy things I have seen, but that is the most recent.
DM: Any off-season plans?
PD: Potentially going to the Instructional League. I’m not sure yet because they have not sent out the invitations, so I don’t know what they are going to do with that yet, but if I go to the Instructs, that is what I’ll do in September and October, and go back home and probably go back to Wake Forest at some point to work out there and see some of my buddies from college.
DM: It was a pleasure to meet you and thank you for your time and the best of luck to you as well.
PD: Thank you and no problem.
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