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Top 10 Twins prospects: #10 Chris Parmelee

March 13, 2011

Christopher Matthew Parmelee (born February 24, 1988 in Long Beach, California) is a minor league baseball first baseman/outfielder in the Minnesota Twins.  He stands 6’1″ and weighs 223 pounds, he bats and throws left-handed.  The Twins selected Parmelee with their first round (20th overall) pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft after he hit .407 with 11 home runs and 26 runs batted in as a senior at Chino Hills High School in California. Once the Twins signed Parmelee, he right away became one of the organizations top power hitting prospects.

Parmelee has put up decent power numbers throughout his five years in the Twins organization.  Going into the 2010 season, he had hit 53 him runs in 376 minor league at bats.  Parmelee also has been known as a strikeout machine as most power hitters are.  The thought on Parmelee was that he was going to become more of an Adam Dunn type player in the major leagues.  If he is able to put up Dunn like power numbers, I wouldn’t necessarily classify that as a terrible thing.

Even with the power numbers and high strike out totals, Parmelee’s does have pretty decent on base skills.  His career on base percentage is .352, helped out a lot by his 247 career walks.  Parmelee’s power numbers did drop off in 2010 as he only hit 8 home runs.  This seemed to worry some as he was drafted a lot for his raw power coming out of high school.  Most who know minor league players and their natural progression, are not so worried.  Focusing more on purely hitting the ball and not launching it, Parmelee posted his highest career single season batting at .285 (high A and AA ball).

I expect Parmelee’s power numbers to begin to creep back up this season.  He set a career high of 15 home runs in 2007 and it is reasonable to think he can do that again this year.  Combining it with a decent average and on base percentage is what you will want to watch for.  Parmelee should also continue to get better defensively.  Parmelee is listed as a OF/1B but is somewhat limited to what outfield positions he can play.  I definitely do not see him ever being a CF, possibly not even a LF.

If Parmelee does have a very strong offensive year this year and at some point is promoted to AAA, he could get a shot next year in RF.  This is an extremely low chance this happens though.  Michael Cuddyer’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2011.  Anyone who knows the Twins front office knows that they will do anything in their power to bring him back.  If for some reason Cuddyer is not in a Twins uniform, that leaves an opening in RF.  The Twins always have the option of moving Delmon Young back to RF, but it is also unlikely that happens.  The Twins have a massive glut of talented outfielders in their farm system.  Parmelee would have to put up quite a year to even be considered for a spot out there.

Another possibility to think of is him having to fill in for Justin Morneau at some point in the next year or two.  Morneau has not played a full season in 2 years.  If Morneau goes down at some point, Parmelee could be called on to fill in for him.  Most likely not this year as the Twins probably wouldn’t entertain the option if he has not had some time at AAA under his belt.  If Parmelee has a strong 2011 and shows the return of his power and the ability to get on base that he did last year, we could be hearing his name within the next year as someone who can come up and help the big league club.

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