Ouch. Chris Young showed the potential to be a 30-30 guy during his rookie season and as such, he was rewarded with a 5 year deal from the Diamondbacks. His 30-30 campaign, while valuable to a fantasy roster, was not as impressive as it seems because he hit under .250 and only had 68 RBIs. He has never hit .250 in a season and his strike out totals have increased each year. This low batting average and increasing strike out totals may be proof that he is not the player everyone was expecting him to become.
While this is an unfortunate story for Chris Young, it presents a window of opportunity for Gerardo Parra. Entering the season Parra was the #2 prospect in the Diamondbacks’ organization according to Baseball America. Throughout the minors he has always hit for average while showing some power and base stealing ability. Parra was called up on May 13th and hasn’t looked back. So far this season he is hitting .290 with 5 HRs, 43 RBIs, 44 R, and 5 SBs. He has been playing LF but now with Young out he could see time in CF where he played in the minors.
The Diamondback have had a tough time with their outfield. Conor Jackson has not been able to come back from pneumonia and valley fever and Eric Byrnes has not been able to return to his 2007 form because of nagging injuries. With only Justin Upton having secured spot, the Diamondbacks’ outfield is wide open for 2010. Gerardo Parra is making a name for himself this season and will contribute down the stretch. But more importantly, he will be a breakout player next season (dare I say 5 tool player) that owners in keeper leagues need to grab now if he isn’t gone already.