Name: Chris Parmelee
DOB: February 24, 1988
With their first round selection in the 2006 June draft, the Minnesota Twins selected Chris Parmelee out of Chino Hills (CA) High School. The power hitting outfielder was rated one of the top high school hitters in all of America during his senior year, and was excited when the Twins took him with the 20th selection overall.
"It really is unbelievable, just a dream come true," Parmelee told TwinCitiesDugout on draft day. "You think about things like that when you are little, and there is like a slim-to-none chance that it will be you."
Parmelee made good on his first round draft status during his first year of professional baseball, cementing his place as one of the best young prospects in the Twins organization. A sweet swinging lefty with power, Parmelee made it all the way to Low-A Beloit in 2006, which is where he figures to open the 2007 season.
Parmelee began his professional career as a member of the Gulf Coast League Twins, taking a spot in the middle of the lineup. He displayed great power, homering in his first professional game, while finishing up his GCL career with a .532 slugging percentage in only 45 games. He drove in 32 runs, smacked eight home runs, and 19 of his 43 hits went for extra bases.
The Twins saw enough in Parmelee to promote him to full-season Beloit, where he joined fellow top 2006 draft choice Joe Benson. Parmelee batted only .227 for the Snappers in 11 games, but got valuable experience playing a higher level of baseball to end his first season. He'll be in Beloit once again in 2007, where he figures to be a part of a great outfield.
Batting and Power: Parmelee has a sweet left-handed batting stroke, which gives him the ability to hit the ball to all fields. He has great power for somebody who is only 19 years old, and can hit the ball out to right or left field. He is going to be a guy who hits 30-plus home runs a year due to the fact that he has a nice, short stroke. He has great plate discipline, and is a very advanced hitter for someone his age. If he continues to develop, he will be the Twins future in right field.
Baserunning and Speed: Parmelee does not have great speed, and he is definitely not someone who is going to steal many bases. However, he is a good base runner, who has a great coach in high school that taught him how to play the game the right way. He has good instincts on the base paths, which allows him to compensate for below-average speed. He is only going to get bigger, and stronger as he gets older, so his speed may be jeopardized for power in the long run.
Defense: Parmelee has a great arm, and he fits perfectly in right field. He makes all the plays in the outfield, and has great defensive instincts. His high school coach told us that his defense is just as good as his offense, which is really saying something. He can also play first base when needed, and showed good footwork around the bag during Spring Training. The Twins like him in right field, and that figures to be the spot where he'll get the most work this season.
ETA. 2009. Chris is the kind of hitter that makes organizations push their hands as far as promotions go. His bat is going to advance him quickly through the organization, and he seems to be the kind of kid who is not going to get caught up in the hype of being a first round draft choice. He'll begin the 2007 season with Beloit, but it would not be a shocker if he is in Fort Myers by the All-Star break if he has a hot start to the year. If he continues to hit, then it will not be long before Parmelee is introduced to the Minnesota faithful. The Twins are hoping he is the real deal, and all signs point to him being just that.