Righthander Bobby Parnell is back to being Bobby Parnell, and the 22-year-old Mets righthander might even be more than that.
The 2005 ninth-round pick out of Charleston Southern burst on the prospect scene right after the draft, leading the short-season New York-Penn League with a 1.73 ERA in his first exposure to pro ball. But Parnell took a step back in his first full season in 2006, first putting up 5-10, 4.04 numbers in 94 innings at low Class A Hagerstown and then was pummeled in three starts in St. Lucie.
And even though Parnell allowed a season-high four earned runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings in St. Lucie’s 4-3 loss to Palm Beach on Tuesday, there are plenty of reasons to believe he’s for real.
Parnell’s fastball has been sitting anywhere from 92-to-96 mph, touching 97. He also has a power 84 mph slider and a workable changeup.
“I was very impressed,” Mets vice president of player personnel Tony Bernazard said. “When I saw this kid (last year) he was 85 to 88 (mph). I knew there was power in his arm, but he’s really showing it now. He was consistently 94 to 96 and touched some 7s.
“He’s got good movement on it and his slider is just filthy. He gets a lot of miss-hits with both of them, a lot of ground balls. He’s still working on his changeup, there are some good ones, some bad ones and sometimes it’s just OK. He needs more consistency with it. But he repeats his delivery and his arm slot well. He’s tall and lean–good pitcher’s body.”
This season, Parnell is 1-2, 2.94 with 42 strikeouts in 34 innings and rolling over nearly three times as many groundouts as fly outs.
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