USC-Upstate The Perfect Fit For Parson

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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USC-Upstate The Perfect Fit For Parson

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Julian Parson

Class of 2021 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: RHP
  • High School: Loyola Catholic
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Ontario Blue Jays
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R


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USC-Upstate The Perfect Fit For Parson

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - “Playing baseball in a warm climate everyday sounds amazing to me.”

A commitment to USC-Upstate fulfills that dream for Julian Parson.

The 13th-rated 2021 right-handed pitcher in Ontario considered North Dakota State and Canisius as well, but found what he was looking for at the Big South Conference school.

“I like the new coaching staff,” the Loyola Catholic senior said of what helped sway his decision. “I know they know how to coach. They were all at Morehead State and they changed that program into a winning program. I think they can do that at Upstate.”

The belief is that Parson can help in that regard, too.

“They like my command mostly,” the 6-1 170-pound righty said. “Mainly, the command of my fastball, slider and changeup stands out. They think if I can gain strength that will have a big effect on my pitching.”

Throwing harder is something Parson has accomplished this year.

“During Covid I worked on my mechanics a lot,” the 41st-ranked 2021 in Ontario related. “I’ve always had good command but my velocity lacked, so I really worked hard on that.”

Velo that was 81-83 back in April is now up to 85-87.

“I’m getting a lot more swing-and-misses,” Parson noted. “It’s made my overall game better.”

The thought is additional velocity can add even more to his game.

“My main focus in the offseason is my strength,” Parson pointed out. “It’s probably my biggest overall weakness. If I get stronger, my velo will go up. I’m also working on my slider to make it more of an elite pitch.”

The idea of competing at the next level only started recently for Parson.

“Around 14 or 15 I thought I wanted to continue baseball,” Parson explained. “I love playing baseball, so I decided I wanted to continue doing that for as long as I can.

“About a year later I began thinking about playing at a high level. The goal has always been D-I, whether it was JUCO and then D-I or D-I right out of high school.”

Parson feels he can benefit the Division I program at USC-Upstate.

“Off the field academically I’m a great student,” noted Parson, who carries a 3.3 GPA and is looking at a major in exercise science with a concentration in strength and conditioning, the end goal to be an athletic trainer. “I can help the team culture, bond with the guys and bring leadership to the team. On the field I can bring lots of innings and be an effective arm, whether it’s out of the bullpen or starting.”

The coaching staff with the Ontario Blue Jays along with parents and family have been the biggest influences for Parson when it comes to baseball.

“They’ve helped me become the person and pitcher I am,” Parson said.

Advancing his skills on the mound will take place in a state he has been to just one time prior.

“I played in a tournament there once,” Parson said of South Carolina. “The weather is another reason to go there. Being outside year-round is definitely a benefit.”

The second USC-Upstate 2021 commit from Ontario sees other advantages to being part of the program in Spartanburg, S.C.

“The coaching staff with coach (Adam) Brown (recruiting coordinator/pitching coach) and (Mike) McGuire (head coach) have shown in the past thow they can make this a winning team and they can also develop players,” Parson said. “I love coach Brown and how he has developed pitchers. I think they can win the league every year.”

Admittedly, there were some nerves being a senior and not committed prior to the decision to make USC-Upstate home.

“I had some concern in the back of my mind but I knew if I kept working and getting better it would all come together,” Parson explained. “There weren’t any negatives, but it was nerve-wracking for sure. It’s a big decision to make, but the staff at Upstate made it easier. It was comforting, I was never pressured. I had a plan to make the decision in the mid-September area and they respected that.”

The future is even brighter now that a commitment has been made.

“I’m relieved the process is over and I don’t have to focus on that any more,” Parson said. “The main focus now is getting better. The chance to play baseball every day at the highest level is very exciting to me.”