TwinsCentric was formed by Twins super-bloggers Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes. Together they publish at TwinsDaily.com and have authored books, e-books and magazines that provide independent and in-depth coverage of the Minnesota Twins from a fan's perspective. You can contact them at TwinsCentric@gmail.com.

Read more about them.

TwinsCentric: Going Streaking With Chris Parmelee

Posted by: Parker Hageman Updated: July 3, 2014 - 4:19 PM

As the season progresses and the availability of real live center fielders decreases, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been lowering standards for center field qualifications -- such as "he smells like a center fielder" and "he reminds me of a young John Fogerty". Chris Parmelee has been the latest infielder to play the most defensively significant outfield role. 

There is no question that Parmelee is swinging a burning hot bat right now -- having gone 16-for-35 over the last 10 games -- which calls for his inclusion somewhere in the lineup. After his performance in Texas, Gardenhire admitted that there may be more lineup cards submitted with Parmelee’s name next to CF. “He reads balls good and gets good jumps on them,” Gardenhire told reporters afterwards

Now with Joe Mauer suffering the dreaded oblique injury during Tuesday night's game, the Twins’ manager could find a new infielder to use in center, however, Chris Colabello was recalled from Rochester -- a likely substitute for Mauer at first -- leaving Parmelee free to roam the outfield. 

Is Parmelee’s bat really worth the head- and heart-ache of playing center field? 

Parmelee has proven to be a streaky hitter in his tenure with the Twins. No sooner did I hit "publish" on a post that highlighted the mechanical changes he implemented that were going to increase his power levels three times over, he went into a slump of epic proportions. After going 8-for-25 with two home runs over his first six games back with Minnesota, he went 7-for-48 over the next 19 games (but, hey, two more home runs!). 

OK then.

In many ways, Parmelee is the inverse of Brian Dozier. Dozier has been creaming pitches left up in the zone. Parmelee, just the opposite. The heat map below provided by ESPN/trumedia shows the location of the hitters' extra base hits:

 

Polar opposites, right? 

Parmelee’s swing is also very susceptible to being pitched up and out over the plate where he swings and misses the most regularly (and where Brian Dozier would deposit the pitch into the left field bleachers):
 


Parmelee showed a tendency to swing (but not necessarily chase anything above the zone) at pitches left up in the zone during his cold spell. Teams attacked those spots to great success. 

Last night’s first plate appearance demonstrated well Parmelee’s success on pitches down in the zone. Here he takes a James Shields’ off-speed pitch located down in the zone, keeps his weight back and drives the ball into the left-center field gap for a double:
 


Part of the reason why he does so well on low balls is that his swing path follows a golf-swing pattern which allows him to hit that zone better. While certainly not textbook, his back shoulder drops (as seen in the example below) and his bat head tilts in his swing which makes it more difficult for contact at pitches up in the zone. 
 


It is because of this swing that Parmelee has the sixth highest fly ball rate (52%) which is well above his career norm (43%). 
 


Teams are not stupid; they see the same data and video on Chris Parmelee. Pitchers will continue to attack at Parmelee’s weaknesses and avoid his strengths. Parmelee, to avoid falling into another valley, needs to focus on his strength -- drive the pitch down in the zone when it is there -- and try to lay off those pitches up in the zone.

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 81 4th Qtr 11:25
Orlando 66
Charlotte 85 3rd Qtr 1:10
Philadelphia 68
Brooklyn 49 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 54
Washington 54 3rd Qtr
Miami 55
Minnesota 54 3rd Qtr 9:11
Boston 59
Toronto 52 3rd Qtr
Detroit 52
Chicago 35 2nd Qtr 5:36
Memphis 30
Portland 30 2nd Qtr 6:18
San Antonio 32
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Denver
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 1 3rd Prd
New Jersey 2
Anaheim 0 2nd Prd 10:53
Ottawa 2
NY Islanders 1 2nd Prd 9:19
Detroit 1
Boston 0 2nd Prd
Winnipeg 1
Dallas 8:00 PM
Calgary
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 39 2nd Half 7:40
Alabama 56
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 47 2nd Half 9:02
Buffalo 65
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 58 2nd Half 1:22
Central Mich 94
Northern Ill 43 2nd Half 0:40
Dartmouth 46
North Florida 73 2nd Half 3:55
Florida A&M 55
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 49 2nd Half 3:15
Hampton 59
NC A&T 49 2nd Half 4:25
Kent State 56
Central Penn College 65 2nd Half 1:47
Liberty 90
Eastern Ky 60 2nd Half 4:02
Miami-Florida 38
Northern Ky 76 2nd Half 2:37
Morehead State 56
Northern Ariz 58 2nd Half 0:49
Norfolk State 79
MD-Eastern Shore 43 2nd Half 0:26
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 42 2nd Half 7:07
St Johns 45
Clemson 39 2nd Half 3:57
South Carolina 65
Tenn Tech 53 2nd Half 0:46
Tennessee 58
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 26 2nd Half 15:49
Mercer 40
Furman 34 2nd Half
Fla Gulf Coast 38
South Dakota St 36 2nd Half 10:10
CS-Bakersfield 40
Milligan 24 2nd Half
Lamar 48
LSU-Alexandria 27 2nd Half
ULM 31
Southern Utah 20 1st Half 0:50
Loyola-Chicago 38
Chattanooga 18 1st Half 0:51
Middle Tennessee 29
Seattle 15 1st Half 5:11
Minnesota 33
Lipscomb 27 2nd Half
Princeton 44
Winthrop 32 2nd Half
SE Louisiana 44
Dickinson State 13 1st Half 0:05
North Dakota 33
New Orleans 21 1st Half 1:48
Southern Ill 29
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
Creighton
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Denver
Alabama A&M 8:00 PM
Marquette
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Texas Tech
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
California
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
St Marys-CA 44 2nd Half 2:18
Virginia 49
McNeese State 45 2nd Half 3:02
Rice 48
NJIT 62 2nd Half 1:04
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 61 2nd Half 3:40
Maine 32
Lafayette 58 2nd Half 0:03
Stony Brook 60
Longwood 46 2nd Half 3:33
Clemson 65
Savannah State 46 2nd Half 3:11
Florida State 85
Buffalo 60 2nd Half 2:49
Manhattan 51
Davidson 59 2nd Half 1:52
NC State 74
Northern Ky 60 2nd Half 1:54
Delaware 56
Saint Louis 42 2nd Half 15:59
Austin Peay 51
(25) DePaul 42 2nd Half 14:50
(2) Connecticut 66
Ohio U 44 2nd Half
La Salle 38
Florida Atlantic 33 1st Half 0:31
Long Beach St 35
Miami-Florida 13 1st Half 10:00
Tulane 10
Miss Valley St 19 2nd Half
Memphis 32
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 2nd Half 4:12
UAB 32
Bowling Green 25 1st Half 2:30
Illinois State 16
Arkansas State 31 2nd Half
Missouri State 37
ULM 14 2nd Half
Wichita State 30
(16) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Southern Ill
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Montana
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Bethesda (CA) 9:00 PM
Fresno State
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT