|Chris Parmelee has drawn 10 walks|
with just 13 strikeouts with the
Twins, a solid walk/strikeout ratio
that is better than any he has had
in six minor league seasons.
Parmelee's major league numbers have been spectacular — and nothing like his minor league stats. Now, the Twins affiliates generally play in fairly low run-scoring environments, but there's nothing there at all to suggest a slash line of .351/.429/.581. You could take a hundred points off each of those — .251/.329/.481 — and he'd still stand out in this offense.
Really. In the lineup Ron Gardenhire deployed Tuesday night, .251 would have been the third highest batting average, .329 the highest on-base percentage, .481 the highest slugging percentage.
Now, it's September, and it's not even 75 official at-bats,so we should take his performance with a grain of salt. But he has displayed a good sense of the strike zone, and — more important — a good sense of his strike zone, by which I mean he appears to know what pitch he wants to hit and which pitches he wants to let go by. There are a lot of hitters who struggle with that.
The Twins need a healthy Justin Morneau in 2012, but after the past three seasons, they also need to have a Plan B. As of now, I'm comfortable with Parmelee as Plan B.
I suspect the Twins would prefer to have him spend some time in Triple A next season — he hasn't seen Rochester yet — but if both Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel leave as free agents I can see him as a regular DH/first baseman, splitting time with Morneau at both spots, and occasionally playing right field. The more veterans the Twins retain (and who stay healthy), the less opportunity to play Parmelee figures to have.