With the 259th pick, the Royals selected OF Parker Bates from Louisiana Tech. Bates lead Conference USA in on-base percentage and was a first team All-Conference Player. He was named Pre-season Conference USA Player of the Year by four different outlets as well as a Third-Team All-American. Baseball America called Bates the best defensive outfielder in Conference USA.
Bates senior year did not disappoint. Bates hit .346/.471/.583 this year with 13 doubles, 4 triples, and 11 home runs. Bates walked 43 times compared to just 26 strikeouts. He was also hit by a pitch 14 times. Bates scored 64 runs and drove in 62.
The 23-year-old Bates is a complete player who is a strong leader. In a video done by KNOE News, Channel 8, the fifth-year senior talked about how they brought new players in with open arms and showed them what it meant to be part of the program. There was no one isolated at Louisiana Tech, they all had a friend in Bates who was more than willing to help them learn the ropes.
Bates will go down as one of the greatest players in the histroy of Louisiana Tech. He has strong attributes and can basically be a coach on the field as well as off the field for the Royals. The Royals love his defensive ability, his on-base ability, his ability to hit, and his leadership.
Image from the Louisiana Tech Baseball website.