DENVER, CO - APRIL 16: Second baseman Andy Parrino #3 of the San Diego Padres gets a force out on Marco Scutaro #19 of the Colorado Rockies but was unable to turn the double play on Dexter Fowler #24 of the Colorado Rockies in the third inning at Coors Field on April 16, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Prospect of the Day: Andy Parrino, 2B, San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres rookie second baseman Andy Parrino is playing well enough (.304/.407/.522 in his first 10 games) to put veteran Orlando Hudson's job at risk. Andy Parrino? Who the Heck is Andy Parrino? Let's find out.
Andy Parrino was a three-year starter at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York. He was especially effective his junior year in 2007, hitting .402/.479/.643 in 51 games, leading the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in batting average, RBI, and hits, while ranking second in home runs. This earned him conference Player of the Year honors. Despite his on-field success, Parrino lacked the physical tools to excite scouts, so he lasted until the 26th round in the June draft.
Sent to Eugene in the Northwest League, Parrino held his own in his pro debut with a .271/.365/.394 mark. He hit just three homers but was good for 20 doubles, while playing adequate defense at shortstop and very good defense at second. Being groomed as a utility infielder, he played second, third and short for Low-A Fort Wayne in 2008, while hitting .252/.366/.353, drawing 71 walks but striking out 127 times. Moved up to High-A Lake Elsinore in 2009, he hit just .235/.346/.312 in 95 games, drawing 51 walks but lacking power. At this point, his patience at the plate and defensive versatility kept him from getting released, but he wasn't considered much of a prospect.
Moved up to Double-A for 2010, he hit .246/.363/.415 for San Antonio, showed more pop with 28 doubles and 14 homers, while drawing 68 walks. He took a huge step forward in 2011, hitting .303/.388/.539 in 40 games for San Antonio, then .327/.399/.484 in 48 games for Triple-A Tucson. He got into 24 games for the major league club, hitting .182/.327/.205 in 55 plate appearances, drawing nine walks but fanning 17 times.
So far this year, he's hitting .304/.407/.522 in 10 games, covering 28 plate appearances.
Nobody expects him to continue hitting like that in a larger sample size, but Parrino has some skills. A 26-year-old switch-hitter, Parrino isn't a hulk at 6-0, 185, but he has some pop in his bat and the aforementioned patience at the plate. His strikeout rates tend to be high and he's unlikely to hit for a great batting average in a full season, but he's patient enough to keep his OBP adequate even when his average is low.
Parrino is a very skilled defender at second base, not bad at shortstop and third, and can even take a turn in the outfield if you need him. Given the short benches used by most teams these days, Parrino's ability to play multiple positions, take some walks, and provide occasional pop should keep him employed for awhile.