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.

Final(10)2345678910RHE
Minnesota «00201000611140
Kansas City0011010005121
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Swarzak(3-1) L:B.Chen(2-4)
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland 3 Top 7th Inning
LA Angels 3
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 4th Qtr 12:00
San Diego 12
Seattle 21 3rd Qtr 5:23
Oakland 35
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 24 3rd Qtr 4:36
Washington St 24
Weber State 0 3rd Qtr
(19) Arizona State 31
Temple 21 2nd Qtr 0:39
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
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: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT