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  • The Development of Chris Parmelee

    Despite being the Twins 1st round pick in the 2006 draft out of his school, it took until September of 2011 for his to become a household name among many Twins fans. After five seasons in the minor leagues, Parmelee was promoted directly from Double-A New Britain when the Rock Cats season ended just short of a playoff berth. Parmelee had put together a very strong second half for the Rock Cats, but no one could have imagined how well he played in September. He played nearly every day, 21 games in all, and hit .355/.443/.592 with six doubles, four homers and 14 RBI. In 88 plate appearances, he walked twice and struckout 13 times.

    Parmelee gives us a glimpse into why minor league numbers and statistics are secondary to player development.
    All players drafted high, especially in the first round, are there because they have immense tools. How quickly can they turn those tools into skills? There is not one ‘right’ answer to that questions. Some players are able to come up to the big leagues within the first couple of years. Most players take five or six years to get to the big leagues.

    STAGE 1 – The Adam Dunn Stage

    Like most high school players drafted, Parmelee went to the Gulf Coast League. He performed well, hitting .279/.369/.532 (.901) with seven doubles, four triples, eight homers and 32 RBI in 45 games. He was rewarded by spending 11 games in Beloit where he hit .227 but posted a .370 On Base Percentage.

    He spent the 2007 season in Beloit where he hit just .239/.313/.414 (.727) with 23 doubles, five triples and 14 home runs. He returned to the Snappers for the 2008 season. Unfortunately, he only played about half of the games as the previous year due to injury, but he was better. He hit .239/.385/.496 (.881) with 10 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and 49 RBI. In those two seasons in Beloit, he walked 98 times and struckout 210 times in 790 plate appearances.

    In 2009, he went to Ft. Myers and hit .258/.359/.441 (.881) with 27 doubles, 16 homers and 73 RBI. In 501 plate appearances, he walked 65 times and struck out 109 times.

    In this stage, there was hope that the bulky Parmelee could turn into an Adam Dunn-type player. He did not hit for average, but he took a great number of walks and showed some good power for that early stage of his career. Of course, Adam Dunn would be a great thing. Most minor leaguers who strikeout that much in those lower levels don’t work their way up to the big leagues unless they’re able to cut those numbers.

    STAGE 2 – The Transition

    After playing in the Arizona Fall League after the season, Parmelee figured out that he would need to lose some weight, and by the time he came to Twins Fest, he looked like a different person.

    Chris Parmelee began the 2010 season with the New Britain Rock Cats, but he really struggled. Pitchers were taking advantage of him. He wasn’t walking and was striking out a lot. Because of that, the power wasn’t there either.

    Less than six weeks into the season, he was sent back to Ft. Myers, and that is where something clicked. In just 22 games, he hit .338/.430/.463 (.893) with five extra base hits. He also walked 13 times and struckout 11 times. He returned to New Britain as a different hitter. Overall, he hit .275/.341/.389 (.731) with 25 doubles, two triples and six home runs. In 463 plate appearances, he walked just 43 times and struck out just 70 times.

    In 2011, he hit .287/.366/.436 (.801) with 30 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 83 RBI for New Britain. He walked 68 times and struckout 94 times in 610 plate appearances.

    The strategy appears to be focusing on one thing and then hoping the other things come back. In other words, Parmelee had shown an ability to take walks and hit for some home run power. However, he also struck out a ton. To make him a better all-around hitter, they encouraged him to be a little more aggressive, use the whole field and make better contact.

    STAGE 3 – It All Comes Together

    The best case scenario is putting the stages back together. Now that he can hit for average and keep the strikeouts down, could he get back to getting on with a lot of walks and bring back the power?

    As we know, Parmelee put together a great showing in September. He was terrific in spring training and earned an Opening Day roster spot. Although he has struggled in limited playing time with the Twins over a couple of stints, he has continued to show power. In 49 games in Rochester, he has hit .354/.470/.691 (1.161) with 15 doubles and 15 home runs. As important, he has 38 walks to go with just 34 strikeouts in 217 plate appearances.

    Parmelee awaits another opportunity to play with the Twins. It will likely happen in the very near future. You can look through his minor league track record and make a lot about of those early years, but he is no longer that same player. Parmelee, in a way, took a step backwards to take eight steps forward. He may be one of those examples where he might outperform his minor league numbers. We don’t know, but we shall find out. Soon.
    This article was originally published in blog: The Development of Chris Parmelee started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Up until this year his minor league numbers shouted severe mediocrity for his MLB potential. And unfortunately for us, the Twins would have likely been fine with that. However, they may have gotten lucky. As with Span and Plouffe, it looks like Parmelee could be better than his minor league numbers. You would think that whatever is in the Rochester water would be something they'd like all their real prospects to drink, so it's amazing they're so willing to skip that level (Parmelee, Dozier).
    1. phillips's Avatar
      phillips -
      Parmelee worked with Bruno last year in New Britain and this year in Rochester. Alot of the hitters there are doing better under his instrution as well. Hopfully Bruno will get the hitting instrutors job next year in Minnisota. But as well as Parmelee is hitting (which is better than anyone in the International League) it did not earn him a promotion back to the Bigs. News has it that Carson was promoted last night. So much for a player earning his way back up. I've read other posts about Parmelee maybe filling in, in the outfield as well as DH and 1st to keep him hitting every day. If there was ever a chance that this might happen, this was it. I feel bad for a player that takes a step back and moves 8 steps forward (as Seth said in his post) works hard and gets dist for his efforts. It's no wonder our team is in the shape it's in today.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I'm sure they want Parmelee playing every single day. He really is NOT an outfielder, so with the Twins, he would still be sitting a lot. Carson can come up and sit on the bench, just pinch hit, make an occasional start. He's been pretty consistent all year, very professional. If that was the move, good for him!! Parmelee will get his time, for sure.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      He has no position so who gets traded? Doumit, Mauer, or Morneau?
      One of those guys have to go to give him a fulltime position 1B or DH

      Otherwise he has no position. Too bad as part of his development he didn't learn how to play RF.
    1. phillips's Avatar
      phillips -
      Parmelee may not be your "Quintessentiial" outfielder, but has spent alot of time in the outfield over the years. There have been many players that have not really fit that roll over the years, but to get there bats in the lineup, that's were they played. Young is a resent example of that, and I believe my little sister could play the outfield better than Young. As I believe Parmelee would have been better than Young as well. It would have been intersting to see how Parmelee would have done moving up while he is hot.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Parmelee just isn't fast enough to be a good outfielder. There's nothing that can really be done about that.

      It is odd how similarly the Twins' first picks from '02, '04, and '06 progressed. I don't see much that can be taken from that, but interesting nonetheless.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      It seems like they will have to find a position for Parmelee by next season. At 24-years old, the Twins need to find out what they have in him. If they waited until after Morneau becomes a free agent, Parmelee would be a 26-year old that spent two years playing well at Triple-A. With Doumit's new contract, it seems like the likely scenario would be Morneau getting traded but Parmelee in the outfield could work too. There would need to be some other kind of trade such as Willingham. An outfield with Willingham and Parmelee at the corners would be scary.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I'm sure they want Parmelee playing every single day. He really is NOT an outfielder, so with the Twins, he would still be sitting a lot. Carson can come up and sit on the bench, just pinch hit, make an occasional start. He's been pretty consistent all year, very professional. If that was the move, good for him!! Parmelee will get his time, for sure.
      I cannot agree more. I have watched Parmelee play the OF both while in New Britain and at Spring Training the last couple of seasons and it is really bad. Doumit has more range there. And really who cares at this point at where the Twins are, but the biggest concern I have is that he might take bad things happening at the field with him on the plate. Carson deserves it but the need a 40-man spot (DFA Nishioka, Manship, Tosoni, Perdomo or something) The other way they can get Parmelee playing time this season (but August is already over) is to send Butera down, have Doumit exclusively at back up catcher, have a rotation of Parmelee/Morneau/Mauer at 1B and Parmelee/Morneau/Doumit at DH. Span sounds like might be available tomorrow so they will have 4 OFs... So really insisting on having Butera warming the bench cuts down on Parmelee's playing time..
    1. Jack Torse's Avatar
      Jack Torse -
      Who cares how bad he is in right field, lets see how he hits in 6 weeks and play him at 1st next year. It's not exactly like he's never played out there or will be exposed like a bad shortstop. If you can't give him OF playing time in a year like this it will never happen. They're going to move Morneau so they better see what they got out of this cat because he will be at 1st next season. If he hits in these next 6 weeks he's probably Mccarty proof because it's not like the league has never seen him before.
    1. mk's Avatar
      mk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cody Christie View Post
      It seems like they will have to find a position for Parmelee by next season. At 24-years old, the Twins need to find out what they have in him. If they waited until after Morneau becomes a free agent, Parmelee would be a 26-year old that spent two years playing well at Triple-A. With Doumit's new contract, it seems like the likely scenario would be Morneau getting traded but Parmelee in the outfield could work too. There would need to be some other kind of trade such as Willingham. An outfield with Willingham and Parmelee at the corners would be scary.
      What are the chances it's Parmelee that gets traded after the season? Being young and under team control for the foreseeable future, would he have more trade value to bring back high upside pitching than Morneau and his hefty contract? Yes, that leaves 1st base as a potential hole after Morneau's contract expires, but it seems that Mauer is spending more time there, and if Sano doesn't cut down on errors maybe that's where he ends up.
    1. ltwedt's Avatar
      ltwedt -
      Seriously!???? Parmelee in Right????? If that happens anymore than once or twice in the next 6 weeks, we are really in trouble. Get over this "Nicky Punto of the outfield", please. He has NO place on the major league team, and should be dealt to whomever will take him - he's another in a series of C players, of which the Twins seem to have many.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by ltwedt View Post
      Seriously!???? Parmelee in Right????? If that happens anymore than once or twice in the next 6 weeks, we are really in trouble. Get over this "Nicky Punto of the outfield", please. He has NO place on the major league team, and should be dealt to whomever will take him - he's another in a series of C players, of which the Twins seem to have many.
      This team used Delmon Young in left field and intermittently played Kubel in both left and right? They played Cuddyer in center a few games and at least a dozen with Cuddy at second. They can stand to put a less than stellar fielder in right field to get him at-bats in a building season. I'm not saying put him in right permanently, but play him there when Parmelee is called up to get him at-bats.
    1. phillips's Avatar
      phillips -
      Right now Parmelee is the best hitter in the International League. So by your blinded standards of Parmelee being a "C" player the rest of the league is full of F- players. Parmelee is the best hitter in the Twins ML system. Sounds like your a Parmelee hatter to me.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ltwedt View Post
      Seriously!???? Parmelee in Right????? If that happens anymore than once or twice in the next 6 weeks, we are really in trouble. Get over this "Nicky Punto of the outfield", please. He has NO place on the major league team, and should be dealt to whomever will take him - he's another in a series of C players, of which the Twins seem to have many.
      Chris Parmelee is 24 years old and has a 1.146 OPS in Rochester.

      Yes, a 1.146 OPS.

      "C" players do not OPS over 1.100 in AAA.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Current options with Parmelee

      1) Trade him for a pitcher, weep later for ten years
      Today the Twins could demand a promising prospect for Parmelee, like another team's Liam Hendriks, but not an established mlb mid-rotation starter. Parmelee would, of course, become the next Big Pappy. The pitcher would, of course, hurt his arm.

      2) Trade Morneau off-season for a very good pitcher, weep later for a few years
      Might be able to get a veteran mlb mid-rotation starter for Morneau, who would of course hit 40 homers for somebody else and play great first base.

      3) Promote him in Sept, play him in Right, DH and 1st
      Parmelee gets playing time, takes at-bats away from Doumitt, Morneau, Willingham, Mauer.

      Option 3 is by far the best, because if Parmelee shines brightly in September, his trade value shoots up, maybe as high as a legit mid-rotation starter. Meanwhile, at the tail end of an awful season, the Twins can rest their veterans and let the kid show his stuff. A team like the Twins should be more accustomed to rapid turnover. If you can't pay top dollar for established stars like Morneau, then you should trade them for talent and keep bringing up guys like Chris Parmelee. Note to fans: Buy jerseys only for retired players, like Hrbek.
    1. cr9617's Avatar
      cr9617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jimbo92107 View Post
      Current options with Parmelee

      1) Trade him for a pitcher, weep later for ten years
      Today the Twins could demand a promising prospect for Parmelee, like another team's Liam Hendriks, but not an established mlb mid-rotation starter. Parmelee would, of course, become the next Big Pappy. The pitcher would, of course, hurt his arm.

      2) Trade Morneau off-season for a very good pitcher, weep later for a few years
      Might be able to get a veteran mlb mid-rotation starter for Morneau, who would of course hit 40 homers for somebody else and play great first base.

      3) Promote him in Sept, play him in Right, DH and 1st
      Parmelee gets playing time, takes at-bats away from Doumitt, Morneau, Willingham, Mauer.

      Option 3 is by far the best, because if Parmelee shines brightly in September, his trade value shoots up, maybe as high as a legit mid-rotation starter. Meanwhile, at the tail end of an awful season, the Twins can rest their veterans and let the kid show his stuff. A team like the Twins should be more accustomed to rapid turnover. If you can't pay top dollar for established stars like Morneau, then you should trade them for talent and keep bringing up guys like Chris Parmelee. Note to fans: Buy jerseys only for retired players, like Hrbek.
      Your assumption that Parmelee is destined for superstar status is silly, and ignores the previous 5-6 years of mediocre production. I'm pretty sure other teams are aware of his previous struggles, and don't fixate soley on his hot 2 months at AAA. I'm not saying he doesn't have some value/potential, but until he does it at the Big League level, it's still a wait and see...
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Seth, one thing you missed is that the Twins tinkered with his approach quite a bit during the step back stage. That improved his contact but sapped his power... now the power is coming back. I don't know why people are down onthe kid. 24 year old guys who post video game stats in AAA tend to be considered top prospects. Given his track record, it's fair to look at some of this from the lens of SSS, as some players can have break out seasons in the minors and never again approach those numbers in the same league... but Chris has been doing this for 1 1/2 years now. It's time to recognize that he has the potential to be something big. He may not get there, but he's earned the opportunity to try.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      Up until this year his minor league numbers shouted severe mediocrity for his MLB potential. And unfortunately for us, the Twins would have likely been fine with that. However, they may have gotten lucky. As with Span and Plouffe, it looks like Parmelee could be better than his minor league numbers. You would think that whatever is in the Rochester water would be something they'd like all their real prospects to drink, so it's amazing they're so willing to skip that level (Parmelee, Dozier).
      Another guy who's minor league numbers did little to predict his major league numbers was Hunter. Never hit more than 10 homers in a season, or higher than .295 over the course of his development.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      The kid needs to be hitting major league pitching every day and very soon. I could care less about how well he plays a corner OF spot on a bad team. I care about seeing him hit.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Morneau will only be here 1 more year max! I'd wager there is a 50/50 chance he is traded before next season, and a 80% chance he is traded before the deadline next year.

      I know Parmelee isn't a great OF, but if need be you can probably live with him in RF/DH for half a season or so. (perhaps Parmelee and Doumit switch off between RF/DH)?

      That of course would assume that one of the OF would be traded before next season, which I also think their is a great chance.

      At the end of the day, I'd say there is a great chance that one of the following players will be traded: Span, Revere, Morneau, Willingham. If one is traded, then Parmelee has his everyday role.

      No need to trade Parmelee at this point, that would be a massive mistake unless someone wants to grossly overpay.
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