If you haven’t heard of Kyle Parker, it’s about time you do. Lost in a draft that featured then teen-phenom Bryce Harper, Parker, a former Clemson quarterback, quietly found himself in Colorado. Drafted for his strength and athleticism, Parker is finally blossoming in the Rockies’ farm system. And it may not be long until we see Parker show up in the big leagues.
Parker can hit at the big league level. Plain and simple. His bat is heating up with the temperatures and his .362 average in May is proof that Parker is well on his way to a spot in Denver. Not only has his average jumped, he has seen a decrease in his strikeout rate. Two key metrics to gauging a hitters success at the highest level.
Let us not forget that Kyle Parker has some pop in his bat. The kid has had three consecutive 20-plus homer seasons. What makes Parker such a unique player, and a big reason why we’ll see him play big league ball and make an impact in Colorado is his versatility. The head and frame of a collegiate quarterback, combined with the hands and the pop of an effective big league hitter, Kyle Parker is a bright spot in the Rockies future.
Parker can play the outfield or first base, which is where I see him making an impact. Baseball’s long season may take its toll on veteran first baseman Justin Morneau. While the Rockies hope he can get through the season without injury, it is likely he’ll need a few days off here and there come late-summer. Kyle Parker is the perfect remedy.
His call-up to Colorado will serve the Rockies two-fold. First, the aforementioned break to Justin Morneau. With Parker’s abilities, the absence of Morneau from the lineup will likely be minimized, and the range at first base increased. More importantly, Parker will gain big league experience. Experience needed to fill the void that will soon be left by Morneau and Michael Cuddyer.
Cuddyer and Morneau will likely be heading out of Colorado and into retirement at the end of the season, and there will be a need for a right-handed batter who can spend time at first and in the outfield. Kyle Parker has been perfectly groomed for that role.
Keep your eyes out for Parker. Not only will the kid get some time in Coors Field later this season. He’ll factor into a few games, and don’t be surprised to see him make a powerful impact with his bat. He’s got the tools to be a solid big league hitter, and the athleticism to fit most defensive needs.
One thing is for sure, the Colorado Rockies have a potential All-Star in Kyle Parker. With more experience at the major league-level, there’s no reason why Kyle Parker can’t be an impact and an everyday part of the Colorado Rockies lineup in the coming seasons.