No fantasy owner ever wants to hear these two words muttered when it comes to their pitchers—Tommy John. Jarrod Parker is plummeting down prospect lists because of a recent strained right elbow. There were fears he would need the dreaded TJ surgery. However, he’s responding well to a rehab program and hopefully will avoid the procedure. Of course, look what the surgery did for Josh Johnson; he now has a bionic arm that throws a heater in the upper-90s. Hmm…Jarrod, maybe a re-constructed elbow isn’t such a bad thing?
Parker has a sweet four-pitch repertoire that includes a mid-90s fastball, curve, slider, and developing change. The 6’1”, 180 lb righty has impressed the D-backs’ brass with his advanced poise, fierce competitiveness, and command in the zone. In 97.1 IP between High-A and Double-A, Parker had a 3.14 ERA, 95:38 K/BB ratio, and .255 BAA. He also showed a knack for inducing ground balls with a 1.60 ground out/air out rate. Notably, Parker struggled more at Double-A with a 3.68 ERA, 3.91 BB/9, and .272 BAA. However, just like Madison Bumgarner, he was 20-years-old playing at a high-level. Let’s give him a break.
D-backs manager/former player personnel guru A.J. Hinch is extremely eager to get his kids out of diapers and into the majors. Before Parker went down with the elbow injury, there were rumors he was an option for the big league rotation coming out of spring training next year. Let’s hope this injury puts those plans to rest; Parker could use more time.
I love any prospect hurler with a bulldog mentality, advanced secondary pitches, and the ability to miss bats. Parker has all three going for him. You should use this elbow issue as a fantasy buying opportunity. If you looking to acquire him via trade, stress to the other owner how long he could miss if he needs TJ surgery. Shoot, I’m confident he can be a stud even if he needs the procedure done. Fantasy tip for the day: take the risk with elbows, avoid shoulder problems.
Mark my words, Parker will be a fantasy ace. As long as the elbow recovers, we should see Parker in the majors by July of next year. We have nothing but fantasy love for this kid here at MLBFP.