Jarrett Parker could provide the New York Mets with some decent power from their bench in 2020.
I am a big fan of power on the bench of a Major League Baseball team. The New York Mets should have some of it on their bench each night in 2020 with some lesser-known candidates possibly supplying them with a big home run against a reliever late in a game.
Unlike past years when pinch-hitters and double-switches played a role in decision-making late for Mets skippers, this season will feature a DH and fewer opportunities to unload the entire bench in a single game. Still, it’s important to have depth and the chance to lift a starter for a reserve player to get the best matchup possible.
One of those guys who can give the Mets some needed pop from the second-string is outfielder Jarrett Parker. Months ago, I suspected he would be nothing more than a Triple-A slugger ready to get promoted only if needed. Following the release of Matt Adams, it’s looking more like Parker could be someone the Mets use in a bigger role.
Parker has an obvious advantage over Adams. His ability to play the outfield makes him a much better candidate for the bench.
The left-handed swinging Parker has hit with plenty of power at the Triple-A level throughout his career. Coming off a 24 home run campaign in 2019, he’s one of those guys I can envision walking the Mets off with a win following a line drive home run into the empty right field seats.
Parker has had some success at the major league level. In 2015, he bashed 6 home runs in 54 plate appearances for the San Francisco Giants. He did this while slashing .347/.407/.755.
This wasn’t a pace Parker could keep up with. His production dipped and in the years since he has spent more time in the minor leagues than the majors. Now 31-years-old, he’s a journeyman that’s lucky to see any big league action whatsoever.
Things may have worked out in Parker’s favor. A deal with the Mets seemed right considering their lack of outfield depth in the minor leagues. The team doesn’t have any major prospects near big-league ready at any of the three outfield positions. Heck, even their best infield prospects could use a little more minor league seasoning.
Adams’ departure has opened up an opportunity for Parker to play the role of a power-hitting bench player. Although he’s not about to set any home run records, an average of 17 dingers per 162 games at the big league level is something worth noting.
Parker is a corner outfielder I can see taking on one of the extra roster spots the Mets use in 2020. In any other year, this wouldn’t be the case. Fortunately for him, the long wait for baseball action to resume may actually benefit him.
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The biggest competition Parker will have is Ryan Cordell. The right-handed-hitting outfielder is another candidate to help shape the roster. It may come down to whether the team prefers a righty or a lefty and if there’s any need for an additional center fielder. Cordell can play center field. This means Parker’s more powerful bat may be competing with Cordell’s more flexible defense.