The San Francisco Giants have promoted rookie outfielder Jarrett Parker to the major league roster. He created quite a stir when he came up last year and hit .347/.407/.755 in 49 major league at-bats. Let's take a look.
Pre-season take from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Jarrett Parker, OF, San Francisco Giants
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-4 WT: 210 DOB: January 1, 1989
2011: Grade B-; 2012: Grade C+; 2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
No, Jarrett Parker is not going to hit .347 over a full season. He’s a lot more likely to hit .227 or .237, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have value. A second round pick in 2010 from the University of Virginia, he’s always had one of the best physical toolsets in the system with above-average power, speed, a measure of patience, and good defensive skills in the outfield. Contact troubles and problems with left-handed pitching held him back and indeed they were still evident last year, with a very high strikeout rate in both Triple-A and the majors. He slugged .569 in Triple-A against right-handers but just .394 against lefties. At age 27 he’s not likely to improve much beyond what he already is, but as a fourth outfielder/platoon player he should be a productive asset. Grade C+.
Parker was hitting .216/.310/.529 in 102 at-bats this spring for Triple-A Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League, hitting nine homers and drawing 12 walks but with 35 strikeouts.
The general view of Parker hasn't changed: his tools are solid in my view. and he's taken a step forward with power production over the last couple of years. However, his persistent issues with contact haven't disappeared and while he will draw a few walks, he is not going to hit for high averages on a consistent basis: last year's .347 was a small sample fluke.
Overall, Parker profiles as a fourth or fifth outfielder who will provide some occasional pop. That said, the Giants have a habit of getting good work out of players with similar assets. His ability to contribute something positive (especially in his late 20s) shouldn't be under-estimated.