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Top 15 Prospects - #8: Chris Parmelee | December
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Parmelee

8. Chris Parmelee, 1B/OF/DH, 21 years old

2009 stats: .258/.359/.441, 501 PA, 16 HR, 109/65 K/BB at Ft. Myers (A+)
Last year’s rank: Not ranked
Acquired:
1st round selection of the Minnesota Twins in the 2006 draft

If Chris Parmelee suddenly becomes an average defensive first-baseman or outfielder, there is no knowing how high he will go. As it currently stands, though, Parmelee struggles to provide his team with adequate defense at either position, and it looks like his best shot at the major leagues will come through the designated hitter position.

Offensively, Parmelee is a great hitter. Belting 45 home runs over the past two and a half seasons, Parmelee has proved himself to be a power hitter, but little else. For the two full seasons under Parmelee’s belt, 40 percent of all hits have gone for extra-bases. Also worth mentioning is that Parmelee put up his .258/.359/.441 this past season in the Florida State League, which is renowned for being pitcher-friendly.

Drafted out of high school, many envied Parmelee’s raw power, and many more are impressed at how fast the young left-hander has been able to use that power in actual game scenarios. This shows a great ability to read pitches, which led to his league-leading walk total this past season. As with all power hitters, though, Parmelee struck out quite often: in 2009, 22 percent of Parmelee’s plate appearances ended in strikeouts.

Despite being among the league leaders in home runs, Florida State League pitchers didn’t feel the need to intentionally walk Parmelee very often. As a matter of fact, they didn’t intentionally walk very many batters at all; revealing the league’s desire to garner experience, not necessarily win games. Parmelee was intentionally walked five times all season, which was the highest total in the league.

There is plenty of optimism for Parmelee, regardless of his lack of a defensive position. His extremely powerful bat may be enough to land him in a major league lineup, but if he continues to work hard and improves his defensive abilities, there is no question that the Twins’ brass will look upon him more favorably.


Ideal scenario: Parmelee saw his batting average shoot up in 2009 to a decent .258, which should earn him a promotion to New Britain, assuming his power numbers remain the same. The lefty slugger could play in Rochester in 2011, and could be the next Jason Kubel in 2012.

Path to the majors: Parmelee is essentially Jason Kubel: a left-handed power hitter who can’t play great defense. Kubel is under contract through the 2010 season, with a club option for 2011. If the Twins stick to that deal, things could work out nicely for Parmelee starting in 2012.