Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Prospect # 18 Chris Parmelee
First Base, Right Field, Designated Hitter
Drafted 2006, 1st round (20th overall) Chino Hills, California
Levels Played in 2009: A+ Fort Myers
Opening Day Age: 22
The first position player on this prospect list is Chris Parmelee. Parmelee was considered the most polished high school bat in the 2006 draft. It has been somewhat of a slow process in his development but he took big steps forward in 2009, ranking as one of the top sluggers in the Florida State League. In a very pitcher heavy league, Parmelee ranked third in home runs (16), second in RBI (73) and first in walks (65). After struggling in more then 200 games in Beloit, Parmelee made some changes in shortening his swing which helped his contact rate a little bit more. Although Parmelee only hit .258 in 2009, it was a career high for him in full season ball.
Chris Parmelee was an all star in the Florida State League. He was the league's home run derby champion, he was rated as the 17th best prospect overall in the league by Baseball America and he was also invited to the Arizona Fall League. Overall it was a step in the right direction.
Parmelee was drafted for his bat. At the time Minnesota was a team notoriously known for not having many power hitters in their lineup. For this instance the Twins seemed to step away from drafting college pitchers and toolsy high school position players to draft a potential middle of the lineup guy who could either play RF or 1B. So far the Twins have tried hard to keep Parmelee in the outfield but his 230 pound frame has made it difficult for him to do so. It is a shame because Parmelee has a plus arm. It the long run he will most likely end up a first baseman. Which is not a bad thing either. At this point in my opinion, I think it is time that the Twins just plant Parmelee at first base so he can continue to develop his bat.
It is expected Chris will be added to the 40 man roster after the 2010 season. Parmelee will be promoted in 2010 to AA New Britain. Finally stepping away from the Florida big parks, Parmelee has a chance to hit 20 plus home runs. If he does that and ups his average to the .270 mark he will be a player to keep an eye on for the future.
Just to put in perspective. Parmelee hit .258/.359/.441 in 2009. If he were to get more contact raising his average 10-15 points it makes him a more feared hitter, which means he will draw more walks and his OBP could hover around .385 to .400 and then we go from talking about a guy who barley cracks .800 OPS to a guy who will flirt with .875 to .900. It is a lot to ask but he raised his average in 2007 and 2008 from the low .230s to the high .250s in 2009. If he even makes half the improvements he did last year we could start talking about a exciting prospect again.
ETA: September call up in 2011 or Early 2012
Projection: Middle of the order power 1B. Lots of walks. Lots of strikeouts.
MLB Comparison: Bat will resemble Jack Cust or Chris Davis. If he hits the 90th percentiles (which is a stretch) then he could be Mark Reynolds, Carlos Pena or Adam Dunn.