Gerardo Parra is enjoying an impressive hot streak to start off the second half of the season; hitting .516 over the last 30 days. Most fantasy owners have already taken notice as he is the second most added outfielder in ESPN fantasy the past week. Of course, all that matters is what he will do going forward, so let’s take a closer look at Parra’s true value.
The height of Parra’s fantasy value before this season was his 2015 second half, where he hit .328 with 9 homers and 9 steals in 100 games after he was traded to the Brewers. So even at “peak” level, Parra was just a solid fantasy outfielder. The real excitement came after that season when he signed a multi year contract with Colorado. The move to the hitters paradise combined with his breakout had all the signs of a big year, but he had a disappointing, injury-riddled season. He declined to just a .253 avg with just 7 homers and 6 steals in 102 games. 2016 was just not his year like most people thought it’d be.
Entering 2017, the Rockies featured an abundance of outfield options, including Cargo, Blackmon, Dahl, and FA signing Ian Desmond. Parra was not on any fantasy radars really as he projected to be a 5th outfielder and was not drafted in standard ESPN leagues. He found his way onto the field when Desmond and Dahl were dealing with injuries, but didn’t do anything great in April and May. It wasn’t until he returned from a minor quad injury that he started raking. Since June, he has hit .560 with an OPS above .1300! Oddly enough he’s done this with 2 homers in that span. Now THIS was the kind of Coors field boost everybody hoped for in 2016.
At this point, fantasy owners have been surprisingly cautious with the Colorado outfielder. He’s on the most added player list, but still sits at about 25% owned in ESPN leagues. Nobody wants to hold the bag when he eventually regresses. What is the most concerning aspect of his season is the lack of power and speed. He’s only knocked 8 homers and he hasn’t stolen a single base all year. Almost all of his fantasy value is fueled by batting avg, so there is no solid case for picking him up. This deeper look at Parra suggests he is not worth investing in. However, I will say he is a must add if you need help in avg this year and he is worth keeping your eye on for next year’s draft. If he finishes the season strong, he may find himself getting regular at bats at Coors field. I also believe we could see his stolen base numbers return as well. This season he seems tentative after being thrown out a few times and dealing with a hamstring injury. If he is healthy at the start of next year, he might put his speed back to work and become a draftable fantasy outfielder.