Gerardo Parra had a tremendous season for the Rockies in 2017. But, are fantasy owners undervaluing him?
It seems as though that all fantasy owners have differing takes on Rockies’ players. Avoid the pitchers, the hitters are only good at Coors, and so on. But, the fact remains that placing all those players under that umbrella is not the logical fantasy play. On the surface, Gerardo Parra would be lost in the shuffle among the Rockies’ mashers, yet was instrumental in their success last season.
Could he now be undervalued in fantasy circles?
It is first important to note that Parra is by no means a fantasy dynamo. Over his nine-year career, he averages a .278/10 HR/57 RBI/10 SB/.731 OPS seasonal line.
Even though he missed time in June after a nasty collision, and then again in July due to a calf strain, he ended the 2017 season with a .309/10 HR/71 RBI/.793 OPS line.
He spent most of the season batting in the middle of the Rockies’ order and solidified what turned into a revolving door in Colorado’s corner outfield spots.
Parra has proven that he is a solid real-life player, but besides his AVG production, it was not as though he offered a fantasy stat that jumped off the page.
Yet, thanks to finding a spot in the middle of the Rockies’ lineup, his 71 RBI were a career high. He still makes contact at over an 81% rate, he only struck out 67 times last season, so he is still making a ton of contact.
His batted ball stats stayed solid as well, 23% LD, 47% GB, 30% FB, 51% Med and 35% Hard contact rates. Parra consistency squaring the ball up is always encouraging, especially at Coors.
Everyone always wants to know the home/away splits, and predictably, he was better at Coors, .337/6 HR/43 RBI/.872 OPS. But, he held his own on the road as well, .279/4 HR/28 RBI.
Parra was one of the few consistent Rockies’ as well, and Colorado made sure to get him in the lineup wherever they could, he even started five games at first base.
Heading into 2018, it is not as though fantasy owners can bank on him batting in the cleanup spot again. But considering, that Charlie Blackmon is the only sure thing in the outfield, playing time is there to have. Parra joins Ian Desmond, Raimel Tapia, David Dahl, and Ryan McMahon in a competition for three lineup spots.
Dahl was injured all season and there is still a ton uncertainty with his back and rib issues. Tapia did impress, Desmond was terrible at first and was banged up as well all season, and McMahon failed to impress during his cup of coffee. Out of that group, it is clear that Parra is one, if not the only, clear and bankable option.
With a full season of bats, Parra probably posts something near a .300/12 HR/85 RBI line. Not too bad for a player that went basically undrafted in every league. Interesting enough, Parra will more than likely be overlooked again this spring in drafts, yet brings bankable stats to the table and can build counting stats with ease in Colorado.
Do not undervalue Gerardo Parra next spring, he shapes up as a great OF5/UTIL selection.