Even during the offseason, nearly six months from opening day, it seems Ole Miss Rebel Baseball is already showing off regular season level talent. While the sweltering heat of summer league baseball saw several impressive performances from offseason Rebels, no Ole Miss player stood out quite like Parker Caracci during his stint with the Baltimore Redbirds.
Caracci, a right-handed pitcher out of Jackson, Mississippi, was awarded the honor of the 2017 Outstanding Pitcher of the Year for the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL). Caracci also saw his name on the 1st team All-League Team alongside fellow Rebels Cole Zabowski and Greer Holston.
Caracci’s outstanding summer league performance saw him lead the star-studded league with 7 wins and 48 strikeouts. The redshirt freshman also finished second in the league in both ERA (.70) and saves (6), while only giving up three earned runs on the entire season. In his 38.2 innings pitched, the workhorse allowed only 16 hits.
Just as impressive as the right-hander’s statistics were his crunch-time heroics. Laser-focused post-season pitching, which included 5 strikeouts in as many innings and a clutch save, saw Caracci’s Redbirds force a decisive game three in the championship series and nearly walk away with the CRCBL Title.
When viewing the eye-catching statistics and standout performances that Caracci offered during a single summer in Maryland, it can be easy to forget that he has never even played a game in Swayze. Even with just a summer as proof, it is easy to see that Caracci’s arm and knowledge of the game seem to extend far beyond his 20 years. Now with further experience and a major accolade under his belt, Caracci is more than a few steps closer to his Swayze debut.
While Caracci’s summer league success likely came as no surprise to those who have watched closely or even played with him, many Rebel fans may be surprised to hear of the 6’, 200 pounder’s summer achievements, due to his redshirt status. While Caracci may not be a household name among Rebel baseball fans quite yet, his summer league performance is a strong indication that his name will be remembered soon.
Caracci surely captured the spotlight in Baltimore over the summer, but to replicate that success in Oxford, he will need to further hone his skills and be patient for his next big opportunity. Despite his obvious talent and award-winning ability, Caracci faces an uphill battle moving up an experienced, mostly reliable pitching staff. However, even with obstacles in his way, Caracci has shown that he possesses what it takes to overcome and succeed. While he has yet to make his official collegiate debut, Parker Caracci has proven that he not only belongs on the mound in Swayze, but will soon be frustrating opposing batters from that very spot.