Cove Chatter Top 2016 Prospects: #15

Parker
Photo Credit: Lance Iversen, USA Today

Top 2016 San Francisco Giants Prospects: #15

#15: Jarrett Parker, OF, Age 27: Parker is one of the more interesting names on this list, and I certainly didn’t see it coming. The Giants 2nd round pick in 2010 (just behind Gary Brown) never really had a breakout minor league season. Yes, he always hit his fair share of HR and swiped a number of bases (28 in 2012), but they were usually matched with low batting averages and gaudy strikeout totals. While Brown was ascending to the top of Giants prospects lists, Parker was being asked to repeat at San Jose in 2012 and again at Richmond in 2014. His numbers, while consistent across the levels, were far from head-turning. In 2015, however, he finally had his breakout.

When Parker got called to the Majors for the first time last year, I couldn’t remember a hitter looking more lost at the plate. I honestly wondered whether he’d ever get another chance in the bigs. But Parker proved me wrong in a big way, surging offensively in Sacramento for 23 HR, then going on a September big-fly binge that will be hard to forget. I was listening to KNBR on my way home during the 3-HR game in Oakland, and Jon Miller’s call gave me goosebumps. There are thousands of minor league prospects in baseball at any one point in time… do you know how many of them will do what Parker did in September 2015 for the Giants? Not very many.

So, now the question becomes, is Parker merely a flash in the pan, or can he continue to produce at the highest level? It’s hard to imagine him (or Mac Williamson) getting a roster spot out of spring camp if the regulars are healthy, especially since Parker would make for 3 LHH outfielders on the 25-man. I just don’t see that happening. With Parker, you get a guy who is solidly built, athletic enough to play any OF position (though he really doesn’t stand out in one spot), and a major hacker at the plate. He might be the greatest “3-true outcomes” hitter in the system, as he has a high tendency to either walk, strike out, or drive one over the fence.

Personally, I think Parker could make for an interesting platoon partner for an MLB team. He should provide nice bench depth for a few years, at the very least. But after hitting a combined 29 HR in 2015, he’s a guy who we have to take seriously at this point.

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10 thoughts on “Cove Chatter Top 2016 Prospects: #15”

  1. Parker-Parker has finally embraced his role in the organization.The Giants didn’t draft Parker for his ability to hit for average.He was drafted for his power.Parker and Williamson should have a nice battle in Spring Training.If Parker loses that battle to Williamson.I believe he will.He’s an injury away from being back on the big league squad

  2. 2013 (AA) — .245
    2014 (AA) — .278
    2014 (AAA) — .275

    I really thought Parker broke out in 2014 because that’s when he learned to harness his power. Also, I’m a firm believer that an ‘out-is-an-out.’ So I don’t particularly care about K rates without considering them in context.

    So while he may strike out a lot, he hits the ball with a lot of hard contact. Which drives a high BABIP, BA, OBP and OPS. This is the polar opposite of a light-contact hitter like Adrianza who doesn’t strike out that often, but being soft contact has a constantly crappy BABIP, BA, OBP & OPS.

      1. Would you say Belt’s streakiness plays into that? Some months, he seems to have gigantic holes in his swing. Others you simply can’t keep him off the bases. And when he’s right, he’s peppering the ball all over the field.

        I really could see Parker providing value in a similar way, but the big catch is his incredibly high K rates. I don’t think he survives if he continues to K at a rate of 30%.

    1. Parker’s 2014 was definitely an improvement from 2013. I suppose I didn’t look at it as a breakout then since he was repeating AA. His OPS did dramatically improve that year though, definitely a results of his higher average. Parker, to me is a great example of a player who never quit on himself. He just continued to plow forward, and I think he will do the same in the majors if he gets another opportunity.

      1. Maybe Parker would be most like Joc Pederson with the bat. Boom or bust, 30% Ks.

        Belt’s wRC+ by month: 80, 198, 65, 133, 170, 109

        It was like he kept getting pitches he could handle last May, and wasn’t missing them, and his confidence was snowballing. And then he gets a little hitch in his swing and starts missing the pitches he would otherwise foul off and then things snowball in the other direction.

        He seems to be able to feast on pitches on the outer half of plate – he’s got those long arms that enable him to barrel up pitches off the plate away, but also make it harder to get to that ball up and in.

  3. Hey Cove, you’re back! You must be very busy teaching them chilluns about what’s what in the world. Are you teaching in Nor. Cal? Will you be coaching ?

    1. The classroom definitely keeps me busy man. I teach 4th grade up in the Chico area, where I grew up. I do coach…. tennis though, not baseball (I never was much of a player!).

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