Two Mercer Baseball Players Sign Major League Contracts
Two Mercer baseball players have signed with Major League Baseball. After just one season with the Vikings, freshman pitcher Matt Perks was drafted in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos and signed a contract on June 9. He leaves for rookie training camp in Melbourne, Florida, on June 16.
Compiling a pitching record of 4-4 at Mercer, Perks was praised by Head Coach Kip Harrison for his solid work ethic and strong performance on the mound. Perks posted a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 64 innings of play. Coach Harrison reports that even after losses, Perks was always ready for the next challenge and continued to improve throughout the season. At 6' 7" and 200 lbs., he is expected to become increasingly effective as he develops physically.
"We will definitely miss Matt, but we are clearly excited for the opportunity he has," Harrison said. "His success shines a nice light on the Mercer baseball program." Before coming to Mercer, Perks was a standout player for Steinert High School.
Shaun Parker, a star pitcher on the Mercer baseball team during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, has signed a free agent contract with the New York Yankees. The offer came after Parker participated in a pre-draft try-out on May 28.
Parker was Mercer's no. 1 pitcher in 2002 with a record of 6-1. In 2001 he tied sophomore Bryan Kelly for pitching victories with eight and led the team in strike-outs and innings pitched. In both seasons he was named to the All-Garden State Athletic Conference and All-Region 19 First Teams. As a sophomore he was selected to the First Team All-Northeast Region and earned Mercer's 2002 Male Scholar-Athlete Award. Parker transferred to Rutgers University after Mercer and continued a successful playing career for the Scarlet Knights.
According to MCCC Athletics Director John Simone, Parker "epitomized the term 'Student Athlete' during his two years at Mercer and his developmental progress as a pitcher was outstanding."