Once or twice a week, senior center fielder Jordan Paroubeck of Serra High in San Mateo receives a request from Major League Baseball scouts to put on a batting practice session for them.
Even though there are up to 20 scouts in attendance at times, the reigning West Catholic Athletic League Player of the Year hasn’t let all the attention he’s received faze him or take his eyes off the ultimate goal — winning a Central Coast Section championship. The Padres (24-6), winners of back-to-back WCAL titles, open up the CCS playoffs Wednesday against an opponent that has yet to be determined.
“Ever since I came to Serra, winning CCS is all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said Paroubeck, a Fresno State signee. “It would mean everything to be able to bring Serra another CCS championship.”
Among the Serra regulars, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Paroubeck has team-leading marks in batting average (.415), runs scored (32), RBIs (30), home runs (7), on-base percentage (.540) and slugging percentage (.787).
Rated the 50th best prospect in the nation by Baseball America before the season started, Paroubeck’s stock has only shot upward as the season has progressed.
The switch-hitter hits with power from both sides of the plate, covers a ton of ground defensively, possesses a strong arm and motors around the basepaths as if he’s always got something to prove. That’s amazing in itself because Padres coach Craig Gianinno said Paroubeck could’ve easily let all the attention and praise he’s received get to his head. Instead, the exact opposite has happened.
“What separates Jordan apart is his commitment to his teammates,” Gianinno said.
“He’s been exposed as much as any high school kid can be, and yet he’s handled all the distractions, which speaks volumes to the type of kid he is,” he said. “With a lot of kids in his situation it could be all about the ego and ‘me.’ And that’s not who he is, which makes him so intriguing and likable. As good a baseball player he is, he’s that much better as a kid. It’s crazy.”
Growing up, Paroubeck, 18, attended hundreds of Serra athletic events with his dad, Tom, who was a teammate of Barry Bonds at Serra. Paroubeck counts his dad and Bonds as two of the most influential figures in his life.
“My dad taught me to be humble and disciplined,” said Paroubeck, who has received hitting lessons from Bonds for the past six years. “[And Bonds] has taught me to have short-term memory. Basically, if I have success or failure, I just move on.”
Paroubeck has three hitting coaches in all: Bonds, Matt Brown and Ray McDonald. While Bonds has helped Paroubeck with the mental side of the game, Brown and McDonald help keep Paroubeck’s swing as fluid as possible.
“He’s got one of the sweetest strokes you’ll ever see,” Gianinno said.
When Paroubeck was 12, he won a home run derby contest playing for his San Carlos Little League team. All told, Paroubeck hit 10 home runs — five from each side of the plate.
The future had arrived.