Parmelee’s blast came in the eighth inning with the Twins trailing 8-2. After a Michael Cuddyer single, Parmelee yanked Judy’s 1-1 fastball over the right field stands. The pitch was low and inside, but Parmelee had no trouble turning on it and pulling it a long way. After the home run, the Twins staged a mini-rally, putting runners on first and second, but, like the rest of the Twins season, the comeback effort fizzled. In the ninth inning, Matt Capps gave back the two runs and Cleveland won 10-4. Michael Cuddyer flied out to end the game with Parmelee on deck.
The impressive hitting display raised Parmelee’s batting average to .357. Fellow rookie Brian Dinkelman also notched three hits – all singles – to raise his average to .314. A day after his own four hit game, Joe Benson almost joined in the rookie hit parade. With two on in the eighth, he hit a solid line drive to right field, but Cleveland’s Kosuke Fukudome robbed him of a likely extra base hit. Benson’s 0-4 day lowered his average to .273.
In six minor league seasons, Parmelee swatted 74 home runs. His power began to blosson at low Class A Beloit in 2007 and 2008, when he hit 15 and 14 homers respectively. At age 21 in 2009, Parmelee upped the total to 16, despite the pitcher-friendly parks he played in with high Class A Ft. Myers. In 2010, however, Parmelee took a step back with only eight homers between Ft. Myers and AA New Britain. This year, Parmelee totaled 13 homers for the Rock Cats.
With Twins regulars Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span likely out for the rest of 2011, Parmelee will probably be in the lineup almost every day until the season ends. Since Morneau’s future health situation is murky, it is likely that Parmelee will play a major part in the team’s plans for 2012 as well. Today’s display of power is an encouraging sign that he might be up to the task.
Hopefully, Parmelee will still be hitting home runs long after 2011 has faded from the Twins’ memories.