An important career decision loomed over Argyle senior Parker Mushinski before he headed to California this week for the Area Code Games — a prestigious showcase event for the nation’s top high school baseball players.
Mushinski had not committed to any of the colleges courting him, and he knew the question was going to be brought up constantly during the weeklong tournament.
The senior shut the door on all but one of his suitors and made his selection Monday, orally committing to Texas Tech.
The left-handed pitcher and first baseman joins fellow Argyle senior pitcher Drew Gooch, who is headed to TCU, as Division I prospects. The 6-0, 200-pound lefty said it felt great to make the decision before one of the biggest tournaments of his career.
“Once you make that decision, a weight is just lifted off your back,” Mushinski said. “I just feel like I’m not stressed out anymore.”
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day that class of 2014 graduates can sign a national letter of intent is Nov. 13.
Mushinski’s final choices also included Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Wichita State.
Mushinski chose the program led by Denton legend Tim Tadlock because he wasn’t ready to decide whether he wanted to be only a pitcher. He said he felt like he had more of a chance to play both ways at Texas Tech, and he wanted to stay within five hours of home.
Last season for Argyle, Mushinski batted in the middle of the lineup and primarily pitched in relief.
At the plate, he batted .303, hit two home runs, drove in 18 runs and had an on-base percentage of .447. On the mound, Mushinski’s record was 5-1. He finished his junior year with a 2.26 ERA, 62 strikeouts and 29 walks in 28 1/3 innings.
Argyle coach Ricky Griffin said interest in Mushinski picked up after the Eagles traveled to Robinson for a tournament. There, Mushinski’s fastball was clocked at about 93 mph late in a game.
Griffin said the senior also has an effective, powerful curveball. Griffin said the way Mushinski delivers the ball to the plate bodes well for his future and was noticed by scouts.
“He can throw in the low 90s, and it looks like he’s not putting a lot of effort to have to do it,” Griffin said. “People like that because that tends to lend itself to longevity and a lack of injury.”
Area Code Games
Mushinski’s college decision comes the week of the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.
Mushinski excelled in a tryout and is playing for the Washington Nationals’ team, which is composed of players from the southeastern United States.
“It’s not an open tryout,” Griffin said. “You have to be invited by a scout. And once you get invited, there’s so much talent there it’s ridiculous. To be able to move on from there, it’s pretty special.”
The last Argyle player to play in the Area Code Games was Austin Aune in 2011. Aune was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2012 and is playing for one of the organization’s Gulf Coast League rookie teams.
Mushinski said the experience of playing with some of the nation’s top talent has been great so far.
“Right now, we’re all 17, 18, kind of just messing around,” Mushinski said. “It’s kind of cool to play with kids that could possibly be the next Mike Trout or something.”
The Argyle senior said he and his teammates were approached by a woman to sign autographs, a testament to the type of talent that’s in the event.
“It’s obviously everyone’s dream, but it’s kind of weird that we’re not even out of high school yet and some lady’s asking us for autographs just because of that small chance that we do become something big,” Mushinski said.
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