Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Chris Parmelee

The New York Yankees seemed adamant about signing a first baseman that would take a minor league deal this winter as insurance for Mark Teixeira now that Greg Bird will miss the season with shoulder surgery and it seems like New York got their man recently in Chris Parmelee. Many overlooked this but out friend Matt Kardos, who covers Double-Trenton and who works for with our friend Robert Pimpsner at Pinstriped Prospects, reported it first that Parmelee had accepted a minor league deal from the Yankees. We plan to introduce the Yankees fans to the newest member of the organization the only way that we know how. This is Meet a Prospect: The Chris Parmelee Edition.

Christopher Matthew Parmelee was born on February 24, 1988 (Happy Birthday goes out to Chris Parmelee!!) and he attended Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California. As a first baseman there Parmelee caught the eye of the Minnesota Twins who came calling in the 1st round of the 2006 MLB First Year Players Draft making the lefty-swinging first baseman the 20th overall pick. Parmelee made an immediate impact in the Twins organization and was quickly donned one of the best power hitting prospects in their entire system with a potential to be an impact player in the middle of their lineup for years to come. In Parmelee’s first professional season he tore up Gulf Coast League pitching to the tune of a .279 average with eight home runs in just 45 games earning him a promotion to A-Ball.

Parmelee repeated A-Ball in 2007 and he hit 15 more home runs before beginning the 2008 season right back with the Beloit Snappers for a third consecutive season. This was not so much an insult to Parmelee as it showed just how much talent the Twins had in their outfield and in their organization at the time. Unfortunately for Parmelee he may have overstayed his welcome in A-Ball and he broke his wrist causing him to miss most of the 2008 season. Even in a smaller sample size Parmelee still enarly matched his 2007 totals posting a .239 batting average and a whopping 14 home runs.

Parmelee finally got his promotion he had been waiting for in 2009 when he was called up to Advanced A-Ball where he earned a trip to the Florida State League's All Star Game alongside eight teammates. Parmelee also won the Home Run Derby that was held before the game which earned him a promotion to Double-A shortly after the beginning of the 2010 season. Parmelee's power dipped a bit and even got him demoted at one point during the 2011 season but the Twins had seen enough and made Parmelee a September call up for the 2011 season. 

Parmelee made his MLB debut on September 6th of that season and he hit a single in his first MLB at bat in a loss to the Chicago White Sox and Jake Peavy. Parmelee finished the month of September with a .355 average, four home runs and 14 RBI in 21 games and had finally successfully put his name on the map for the Twinkies. Parmelee began the 2012 season as the Twins starting first baseman after Justin Morneau was moved from the position to designated hitter and Parmelee presumably let the big stage get to him. Parmelee struggled out of the gate and was optioned back to Triple-A on May 16th after hitting just .179.

The Twins had no room for Parmelee at first base in 2013 with Justin Morneau at first base so the team moved their top prospect to right field for an Opening Day start. Parmelee once again struggled though and by the All-Star Game he found himself back in Triple-A after hitting just .223 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 45 MLB games. Parmelee toiled in the minor leagues during the 2014 season after being outrighted off the Twins roster and was eventually designated for assignment on December 13 to clear a roster spot for Ervin Santana. Parmelee was a free agent for the first time in his career but he was not long for the free agent market. Parmelee signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles for the 2015 season looking to continue his career.

Parmelee started out well for Baltimore after getting called up on June 16 hitting three home runs in his first two games back in the show but by the end of July he was once again designated for assignment and once again a free agent. This time the Orioles DFA'd him to make room for recently acquired Gerardo Parra. Parmelee will once again look to make the major leagues and will once again look to latch on with a new team, this time that team is the New York Yankees. Parmelee broke the news himself so he must be excited, and that excites me when players want to play here in New York. So Chris, welcome to the organization and welcome to the family. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)