DOB: February 24, 1988
Position: Outfield/ First Base
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.
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.
During the 2007 season, Parmelee was back in Beloit, where he struggled with the bat in his second go around with the team. In 128 games, Parmelee batted only .239, though he did hit 15 home runs. That kind of power made him the top power hitting prospect in the organization, a title he still holds today.
In 2008, Parmelee was back in Beloit, and the results were not much better. Despite him growing as an overall player, Parmelee's season was cut short, when he broke his wrist while playing first base. Still, he became a more selective hitter, and his power prowess is second to none in the organization.
He is slated for Fort Myers in 2009.
Batting and Power: Parmelee has a sweet left-handed batting stroke, which gives him the ability to hit the ball to all fields. He became a more selective hitter in 2008, and could develop into a guy with an above average batting eye. He is the best power hitting prospect in the organization, and figures to be a high .280s hitter in the future. If he stays healthy in 2009, look for him to breakout.
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, though he may make a permanent move to first. He makes all the plays in the field, 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 at first base, where he figures to move quicker than in the outfield.
ETA. 2012. Chris is the kind of hitter that gets the Twins very excited. Though his statistics do not tell the whole story, he is developing into a very good hitter. He has a decent batting eye, and his power is downright incredible. He is only going to go as far as his bat takes him, and I expect him to have a full season in A ball in 2009. From there, it depends on how he continues to grow, though he looked very strong in Spring Training.