Former Illinois Valley Central star Josh Parr is on his way to playing in the Major League as he plays with the short-season Class A Missoula Osprey in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system.


Former Illinois Valley Central star Josh Parr is on his way to playing in the Major League as he plays with the short-season Class A Missoula Osprey in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system.

“I spent the mini-camp in Arizona,” said Parr from Montana. “I’m playing for the Missoula Osprey. It’s a great group of guys and I’m having a great time. There is so much for me to learn here but it’s also a lot of fun.”

Parr was drafted in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball draft June 7 by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“It was fun, it was a good setting to watch the draft,” Parr said. “I was there with my girlfriend and my best friend at home. I didn’t want it to be too big. I’m not the type of guy that likes big celebrations, but I couldn’t have asked for a better time.”

After finding out he was drafted, everything moved quickly, and Parr was a signed member of the Diamondback franchise.

“That first day I was drafted and then right after that everything happened really quick,” Parr said. “Scouts showed up the day after and, two days after I signed, I was headed to Arizona. It moves so fast, but that’s the way it should, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Parr then found himself in Arizona for a mini-camp that would test his skills and place him in Missoula.

“The mini-camp was good,” Parr said. “We met all the coordinators throughout the minor league. They were all very knowledgeable and great guys. I really like the way that the Diamondback organization has their minor league system set up. They really believe in their guys and work to make sure that they’re in the right position.”

While Parr is still new to the Diamondback organization, he said he brings a certain attitude to the team.

“A lot of guys say that I play blue collar baseball and that I hustle all the time,” Parr said. “I don’t even wear batting gloves, so my hands are unbelievable rough. But that’s just how I learned to play from coach Rashid, and that’s the only way I know how to play the game.”

That work ethic is what will help Parr dedicate the time and effort to improve the areas of the game he feels he needs to improve.

“I definitely want to be able to hit the ball more consistently,” Parr said. “It’s always been my habit to have a game where I have three hits and then a few games where I don’t get a hit and then another where I have multiple hits. I’d like to be a little more consistent and spread those hits out over a couple of games.”

Parr will face many challenges in his first year in the organization, but he said he feels confident to face them.

“At this point, I don’t know what next season holds for me,” Parr said. “I hope to do good in Montana and I know God will take care of the rest.

“I have two goals when I play baseball and that’s to go out there and play hard and have fun and to do everything that I can to help the team. I feel like as long as I do that, I’ll be alright.”

The road to the big leagues started at IVC, where he helped the team win the State title in 2006.

“I really learned how to play the game right at IVC,” Parr said. “Coach Rashid does a great job of telling everybody to hustle and play the game. That’s why IVC is always a competitor and why the team has had the success that it has.”

From IVC, Parr moved on to play college ball with the University of Illinois.

“I think the biggest thing that Illinois helped me with was my hitting and my approach to the plate,” Parr said. “Coach (Dan Hartleb) believed that, even as a senior in high school, that I would be a junior draft. He told me that he wanted to do everything he could to help that happen, and I told him that I’d try to help him win the conference.”

“I’m definitely going to miss my teammates,” Parr said. “They are a great group of guys and I’m especially going to miss playing with my brother. It was a fun experience there, and I’m definitely going to miss everyone.”

Tracking Ghosts is a summer feature which highlights a former IVC athlete.