From Miner to Ute |

From Miner to Ute

Christopher Kamrani, Of the Record staff

Until he was in seventh grade, Parker Morin lived in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area where people lived and breathed football. Baseball always came second.

Then he moved to Park City where folks lived, breathed and ate winter sports. Baseball was an afterthought for most of the town.

Except Morin.

The Park City High School graduate and starting catcher at the College of Southern Idaho has verbally committed to the University of Utah and will vie for the starting position behind the plate in the Utes’ inaugural season in the Pac-12 Conference.

"I definitely want to start," Morin said. "Nothing is given to you. I will have a chance as long as I continue to play well." The former Miner was a prep first team all-state selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. Morin was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player his last two years.

Morin was scouted by Utah in high school, but the program didn’t have enough funds to take on one more catcher.

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While he was playing for the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles, where he started his sophomore season, Utah noticed him again after he had an impressive outing in the regional tournament.

"I played really well at the tournament," said the catcher. "I talked to the U. and things were figured out."

Growing up aspiring to be a professional baseball player is one thing making it a reality is completely different. Morin sees the logical steps he needs to take to potentially achieve his dream.

"When I was younger, I always wanted to catch," he said. "When I moved to Park City, I became a catcher. Baseball has always been my main focus. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, being patient and getting the right pitches to hit."

The 5-foot-11 Morin is a well-rounded catcher who says his defense is currently ahead of where he needs to be at the plate. But he knows that playing in one of the toughest conferences in collegiate baseball will only help him advance.

In 106 at bats his sophomore season, Morin hit .255 with five doubles, two triples (tied for second on the team) and two homers. He had the fourth-best slugging percentage on his team with .396 average and also drew 21 walks in 48 games.

Playing with the Utes will be a step up for Morin, but he knows his potential and realizes he would not be in this position had he not put in all those hours of hard work.

"It’ll be a jump, no doubt," Morin said. "It’s going to test me as a hitter."

Morin went from 3A baseball in Utah to facing some of the best young pitching prospects around in a strong junior college circuit that also featured College of Southern Nevada.

"The pitching was just unbelievable," he said.

When asked what major league catchers he wants to model his game after, he singled out Jorge Posada of the New York Yankees and Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals.

"They’re great," he said.

Morin is a lifelong Texas Rangers fan and was thrilled his team made it to its first World Series in the 2010 season.

"It was a great season for them," he said.

Next year’s introductory Pac-12 year could be even better for the Parkite behind the plate.