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Today's Book Excerpts

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More excerpts from the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book.

Chris Parmelee, OF, Minnesota Twins
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-1 WT: 205 DOB: February 24, 1988

Drafted in the first round in 2006 out of high school in California, Parmelee was supposed to provide a strong offensive boost for a Minnesota farm system grown thin in hitting talent. Instead, he scuffled through a somewhat difficult season in the Midwest League. His OPS was OK at +4 percent, and he showed good pop from the left side of the plate. But he was vulnerable to pitchers who change speeds well, and his approach at the plate was a lot rawer than the Twins expected. He had particular difficulty with left-handed pitching, hitting just .190/.292/.257 against southpaws. Defensively, he features a strong arm but just average outfield range. Parmelee is still very young, and the Twins will be patient with him. Some stathead types say that he just wasn't lucky on balls in play last year. That may be true, but the strikeout rate scares me. He's got to make some adjustments, and right now I can't give him a rating higher than Grade C+.

Robert Parnell, RHP, New York Mets
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 180 DOB: September 8, 1984

A ninth round pick out of Charleston Southern in 2005, Parnell has a 90-95 MPH sinking fastball, and a slider which is often overpowering. He gets plenty of ground balls, but his changeup is below average, and Double-A hitter exposed this weakness. His track record, in college and as a pro, is erratic. He clearly has the arm strength to succeed, but is still making the transition from thrower to pitcher. He's a least a year away from being ready for the majors. My guess is that he'll have to move to the bullpen to succeed in the majors. Grade C.

Gerardo Parra, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-1 WT: 186 DOB: May 6, 1987

Gerardo Parra was one of the most dangerous hitters in the pitching-dominated Midwest League last season, posting a +16 OPS and winning the league batting title. He was one of only five regular players to top .300. Signed out of Venezuela in 2004, Parra has terrific bat speed and makes hard contact against all kinds of pitching. His strike zone judgment is mediocre, but he gets away with it, at least so far, due to his quick wrists. It is unclear how much power he is going to develop. The D-backs say he might be a 20 homer guy eventually, but I'm not sure I buy that. He'll have to show more power, or keep his batting average at .300+, if he wants to be a productive big-league regular, given that his on-base percentage is highly-dependent on the batting average, due to the low walk rate. Despite the high stolen base totals, his running speed is just average, though he gets good breaks in the outfield and has a strong arm. Parra is quite promising, but there are enough unanswered questions here to keep him at Grade B for now.