SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Parker Puetz is a multi-sport, standout athlete for Volga and despite being one of the top quarterbacks in the state, Puetz is set to play college baseball, thanks to his love of the game.
“Baseball is my favorite sport, I love it. It’s what I’m good at, it’s what I’m comfortable with,” Volga pitcher/shortstop Parker Puetz said.
Puetz was a standout athlete for Sioux Valley in football, basketball and baseball. However, his decision to play college baseball was simple.
“Narrowing it down to baseball was easier than some may have thought. I mean, opportunities opened up for me and I took advantage of those. It’s just something I can see playing for a long time,” Puetz said.
Puetz has had a tremendous 2022 summer season. He owns a batting average of .488 in legion baseball, with nine homeruns, 23 RBI’s and 21 walks. But that’s just the beginning, as Parker is playing up with the Volga amateur team and batting .426 with eight homers and 22 RBI’s.
|Stat||Legion Baseball||Amateur Baseball|
|Runs Batted in (RBI)||23||22|
“It all goes to his approach at the plate. He’s very disciplined, he’s got a great approach, great setup and great mechanics,” Volga head coach/Parker’s father Ron Puetz said. “He sees the ball really, really well and like he said, he takes aggressive cuts and he’s able to barrel the ball up.”
Parker has found success at the plate, but his performance on the mound may be even more impressive. He’s thrown 44 innings this summer and allowed just five earned runs, while striking out more than half of the batters he’s faced.
|Runs Allowed (Earned)||10 (5)|
|Strikeouts (Batters Faced)||82 (160)|
|Earned Run Average (ERA)||.902|
|WHIP (Walk + Hits per Innings Pitched)||.541|
|Opponent Batting Average||.113|
“I’m just aggressive and just attack the zone. I don’t play around if I don’t have to. There are some great hitters throughout the course of the summer that I come across, that I have to get creative and try and get out. Then there’s some that I can go right at,” Parker said.
“The velocity has always been there and that’s always been one of the things, ‘hey how fast are you throwing?’ I think, sometimes that pitchers can fall in love with trying to throw too hard,” Ron said. “I think one of the things that he’s done really well, is he’s learned to pitch to contact in the middle innings.”
Parker has had a near unbelievable summer in Volga and much of that success can be credited to his knowledge of the game.
“When you look at Parker, you’re seeing a player that is probably older than what he is. This is his third year of amateur baseball. He played amateur baseball as a teener in 16-U, but I think that he’s just been in the soup so much, that this is just another outing for him,” Ron said.
The next step for the talented right hander is a trip to North Dakota as he has committed to further his baseball career at NDSU.
“Right away, coach (Tyler) Oakes wanted me to be a part of the program. He really came after me and it was nice to see that,” Parker said. “The campus and everything was beautiful up there. I loved what they’re working on and they’re on the upswing as well.”
Parker has established himself as one of top all-around players in South Dakota, but when he heads to Fargo, he’ll shift his focus to his performance on the rubber.
“This is probably one of the last summers that I’m swinging a bat, so I’ll go right at it and try to take advantage of it,” Parker said.
“We see one a daily basis what he can do at the plate, not only against legion pitching, but top amateur pitching as well and it’s hard for us to believe, that when he gets to that level, that that’s going to happen,” Ron said. “At the same time, we understand that his craft is pitching and at college, it’s a different game.”
Puetz has been clocked as high as 91 miles per hour. The Volga legion baseball team is now 2-0 in the Region 2B tournament. They’ll play for the championship and a spot in the state tournament on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Dell Rapids.