The good news for Kyle Parker is that he will have a mentor immediately upon arrival with the Colorado Rockies. Whether he gets the call in 2014 or further down the road, he will need to get in touch with Wilin Rosario right away.
As a power hitter who feasts on fastballs, Parker will want to consult with Rosario, a card-carrying member of the Fastball Destroyers. The Rockies need Parker to develop as a power bat in a fashion similar to Rosario, so it just make sense.
In a Q&A with FanGraphs, Parker discussed his tendencies as a young power hitter (among other things):
I would consider myself a fastball hitter. I need to be ready to hit a first fastball, because that’s the pitch I hit the best. I pride myself on being able to be on the fastball, but depending on the pitcher, you might have to change your approach. Guys are throwing cutters and off-speed — pitches other than fastballs — in different counts. You have to be capable of making adjustments.
“You need to have a plan from the get-go. If you go up there just hacking — not thinking about what you’re doing — you’re going to get yourself in trouble. Recognizing pitches you’re capable of hitting is definitely a big attribute to have. I work on that constantly. I don’t want to go up there and get myself out. Recognizing which pitches I can handle — which ones I can drive — is huge for me.”
Not that this is terribly surprising, Parker being a fastball hitter. It’s not like you ever see this scouting report for young power hitters:
Hates fastballs. Destroys sharp curveballs and deceptive change-ups, will have to adjust to the straight stuff at the big league level.
Like Rosario, the Rockies will worry about developing pitch recognition once Parker proves that his power is big league ready. For a franchise that has struggled to develop talent, that cannot happen soon enough with this first round pick.
Be sure to check out the rest of Parker’s interview by clicking here.