2008 Donruss Threads GERARDO PARRA Auto #/999
Current eBay Price—$4.00-6.00
While flame throwing youngster Jarrod Parker sits atop the Arizona Diamondbacks’ hierarchy of elite prospects, this young Venezuelan OF quietly fills the #2 spot in just about every analyst’s list. Parra handled the challenges of both High-A and AA ball last season admirably, hitting .286 with 6 HR 52 RBI and 28 SB. Parra has the ability to play any OF position with superb range and a very strong arm and his solid plate discipline would be a welcome change of pace from the currently whiff-prone D’Backs lineup.
The question mark with Parra is his power numbers. His bat speed is exceptional, but his swing trajectory is more condusive to producing line drives with moderate gap power. However, Parra’s statistics from the Venezuelan Winter League offers substantial hope. Gerrardo hit .329 with 7 HR 44 RBI and a league leading 20 doubles in 246 AB’s. Given those numbers, it is conceivable that he could develop into a 10-15 HR hitter this next season.
Arizona’s roster is presently set with Justin Upton and Chris Young manning RF and CF respectively. Eric Byrnes will get another shot at the starting job in LF after injuries ravaged his productivity last season and the fact that his contract pays him a guaranteed $21 million through 2010, it seems highly unlikely that he will be going anywhere. This should put Parra at AAA Tuscon to start the season, but a solid spring and/or another Byrnes injury should allow for him to make his MLB debut at some point in ’09.
2008 offers several 1st year autos of Gerardo Parra. The Donruss Threads (#/999) and Bowman’s Signs of the Future are the least expensive at just $3-5 each. There is a little more demand for his Donruss Elite Extra Auto ($6-8 each) due to the fact that it is numbered to just 421 copies. I don’t think that Parra has the same potential to be a superstar like his future OF counterparts Upton and Young, but his comprehensive skill set should fit very well in the leadoff or #2 spot of this Arizona lineup.