Jarrett Parker Taking Advantage of Big League Opportunity


With the San Francisco Giants just about out of the postseason race officially, the time has come where they can begin to take inventory of their younger players and prospects, and see just what they have for next season. Jarrett Parker is taking advantage of his own showcase opportunity.

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Parker is proving that the third time is the charm when it comes to big league chances. Parker had been through two cup of coffee stints before his current call-up, and his success was limited. In 2014, he was called up for one day in August, but didn’t get any game time before being sent back down to Triple-A. In June of this year, he was re-called again. During his four games, he collected his first career hit, but didn’t look at all comfortable, striking out five times in nine at-bats.

Since being recalled for the third time mid-way through September, Parker has been a brand new ballplayer after vowing to be more aggressive at the plate than he was earlier. That aggressive approach has paid off immensely.

In his first at-bat back in the big leagues as a pinch-hitter, Parker crushed a run-scoring double into right-center field at AT&T Park, collecting his first career extra-base hit and RBI in one swing. His next at-bat, three games later, also came as a pinch-hitter. He would hit his first career home run into the arcade in right field, becoming the first Giants’ pinch-hitter to go yard this season.

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A week later, Parker accomplished the feat again, showing off his opposite field power by bashing a fastball from Joaquin Benoit out of Petco Park to left field, also as a pinch-hitter.

On Friday night, Parker absolutely crushed his third career home run to lead off the seventh inning. He launched a fastball into the upper deck at the O.co Coliseum, with the ball landing an estimated 474 feet away from where Parker hit it. That home run is the second-longest hit by a Giant this year, behind Brandon Belt‘s mammoth 475-foot blast at Coors Field into the upper deck in May.

Overall in his second stint this year, Parker has played in nine games and has gone 6-13 (.462) with three home runs, five RBI, and five runs scored.

The Giants already have a dilemma on their hands regarding left field next season, and a player like Parker emerging as he is does not make the decision any easier. The Giants have a team option for Marlon Byrd that vests into a guaranteed $8 million option with 33 more plate appearances. With Byrd playing designated hitter on Friday, it seems the Giants don’t have any qualms about bringing back Byrd next year.

Nori Aoki also has a team option for 2016, but at $5.5 million, it is much cheaper than Byrd’s. If Byrd’s option doesn’t vest, the Giants could go with Aoki instead. Or, the Giants could bring back both and go with a platoon. There is no easy answer, and it becomes even more clouded when Parker is added to the mix.

If Parker can continue to impress over the final stretch of the season, the Giants’ brass could forego both Byrd and Aoki, and opt instead to take a chance on a young, semi-unproven Parker. Mac Williamson, who collected two hits in his first big league start on Friday, could also throw his hat into that ring over this last stretch.

After a very strong minor league season (.283, 23 home runs, 74 RBI), Parker has found his footing in the big show. With the season winding down, these games could go a long way towards deciding how the Giants work in left field next year.

Next: San Francisco Giants Injuries by the Numbers