Robert Cole Parkins
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 225 lb.
- High School Cerritos High School
- Born April 29, 1964 in Norwalk, CA USA
He played in the Red Sox chain from 1983 to 1986 and though he didn't surrender many hits — less than one per inning, on average — he struggled with his control, driving up his WHIP. As a starting pitcher with the Winston-Salem Red Sox in 1983 and 1984, he tossed 155 innings and allowed 161 hits and 114 walks, while striking out 111 batters. On June 7, 1984, he tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against the Durham Bulls. He was rated the #10 prospect in the Red Sox chain by Baseball America going in 1985. In 1985 and 1986, Parkins pitched for the Winter Haven Red Sox, allowing 189 hits and 107 walks and striking out 108 batters in 208 2/3 frames. He converted to relief pitching the latter year and was 6-3 with a 2.76 ERA that season. 1986 was also the first year he had more strikeouts than walks.
He was out of professional baseball from 1987 to 1991, but in 1992 he resurfaced in the Red Sox chain. He pitched for Winter Haven again, and despite posting a 1.53 ERA with only 22 hits allowed and 13 walks in 35 1/3 innings, his record was 0-3. The Seattle Mariners gave him a tryout with their Triple-A club in 1993 and he posted a 10.12 in 2 2/3 innings for the Calgary Cannons. With the co-op San Bernardino Spirit in 1994, he went 7-4 with a 3.84 ERA in 122 innings, allowing 43 walks, the best walk rate of his career. He joined the independent Long Beach Barracudas for 1995, his final campaign, going 5-8 with a 4.99 ERA.
Overall, Parkins went 26-33 with a 3.90 ERA in 152 games (67 starts) in eight seasons spread over 13 years. In 523 2/3 innings, he allowed 515 hits and 277 walks, while striking out 353 batters.