by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The Colorado Rockies appear set in the outfield and at first base, at least on paper. The outfield has Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer locked in, with ample options to fill the third spot (most notably Drew Stubbs). First base will be manned by Justin Morneau, with Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario also seeing some time.
Don’t tell that to Kyle Parker, who has the potential to crash the party. Whether it be due to injury (lets be honest, Gonzalez, Cuddyer and Morneau are not the pillars of health) or the potential bust of Stubbs (or whoever wins the third outfield job), there is going to be potential openings. For the savvy owner, stashing Parker for when he gets his opportunity makes a ton of sense.
The teams first round pick in 2010, Parker has shown the ability to hit for power since being drafted. He’s eclipsed 20 HR in each of his three seasons in the Colorado system, including 23 in 480 AB at Double-A in 2013. With a HR/OFB of 23.6% in his minor league career, it’s hard to imagine the power not translating to the Majors and Coors Field.
Rich Wilson of Prospect 361, who ranked Parker as the team’s fourth best prospect, had this to say about his power (click here for the full Top 10):
“He has massive raw power that is just starting to translate into in-game power. While his stat line shows 23 home runs in both 2013 and 2012, the raw power he shows in batting practice isn’t yet fully actualized. While batting practice is well, batting practice, it’s the best place to see a player’s flat raw power. Parker can hit balls out to right just as easy as he can to left. In fact, I saw him hit a 450 foot home run to right and it was done with a combination of wrist and lower body strength.”
He also has shown an ability to make consistent contact:
- 2011 (Single-A) – 25.8%
- 2012 (High-A) – 18.8%
- 2013 (Double-A) – 18.8%
The fact that the number stayed consistent, despite his jump to the upper levels of the minors, is encouraging. A move to Triple-A and the Majors will likely inflate it a little bit, but it doesn’t appear to be a number that’s going to cripple his ability to hit for a usable average. Think .270ish, but with his power that’s more than enough.
Parker has also shown a good eye at the plate, with a 10.2% walk rate (7.6% in 2013). That’s helped to a .374 OBP in the minors, just adding to his upside.
There’s a lot to like about Parker and it is just a matter of time before he gets a shot. In NL-only and dynasty formats, he’s a no-brainer to stash. In deeper mixed leagues, he needs to be monitored closely. Power is harder to find these days, so stash him away and wait for him to get his shot.
Sources – Minor League Central, Bseball Reference, Prospect 361
*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide!! The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***
Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: