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Rockies prospect rankings: No. 14 Kyle Parker freed, but for how long?

Kyle Parker is up with the Rockies for what should be a much longer stint than his previous ones. Will he finally get the necessary amount of playing time he needs to show what he can do at the big league level?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

PuRP No. 14: Kyle Parker (556 points, 34 ballots) | Winter 2014 Ranking: 11 | High Ballot 8, Mode Ballot 12

Kyle Parker is a player who has been a fixture on these lists since 2010 (the year he was drafted by the Rockies in the first round). This placement on the list (his 10th time as a PuRP) marks a low point for Parker, who has never quite delivered on his first-round pedigree but who has moved up the system ladder pretty consistently despite never exciting me with his potential. The 25 year-old righty outfielder/first baseman was sold as an athlete who would develop into a big power hitter once he focused only on baseball (he served as Clemson's quarterback when he wasn't hitting back-to-back with Ben Paulsen).

That power potential hasn't manifested in as big a way as hoped in game situations, as Parker has averaged about 20 homers per year in the minor leagues despite being slowed with a hand injury in 2012. Still, Parker had good numbers at every level on his way up to AAA (over 130 wRC+ each campaign). At AAA against pitchers who are about two years older than him on average, Parker has settled in over the last two years as a league average offensive player in the PCL (102 and 99 wRC+ respectively). This year with the Albuquerque Isotopes, Parker has a .280/.326/.431 line with nine homers in 388 plate appearances.

In 37 big league plate appearances over the last two years, Parker has yet to distinguish himself, posting a .222/.243/.250 line, but he has yet to get consistent playing time in the Show in order to give a good indication where he might fall on the big league spectrum.

MLB.com recently ranked Parker 21st on their midseason list of Rockies prospects, with this to say about him:

Parker's raw power is unquestioned, with the potential to hit 20-plus homers annually at the highest level. His in-game power plays down at times because of a lack of consistency with his approach. Parker employs a high leg kick at the plate. When he's on time with it, he can produce big-time power. The right-handed hitter isn't always on time, though, keeping him from connecting out front and driving the ball.

Before the year, Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus labeled Parker as one of Colorado's three "Factor on the Farm" players for 2015. Faleris on Parker:

Parker didn't dazzle in his brief major-league stints last summer, but there is still enough pop in the profile to warrant a look in 2015. The Clemson product is unlikely to hit for average thanks to pull-happy tendencies that yank his barrel off line and provide significant hurdles to proper plate coverage on the outer half. Still, Parker could prove useful as a power bat off the bench capable of spot starts at first base and either outfield corner, albeit with limited defensive value.

I'm a believer in Parker's potential MLB talent (I slotted him 19th on my list), though I'm not as high on him as I should be given his placement on this list. I believe he belongs here, but I'm not a believer that he'll be a true impact player at the major league level given his limited defensive profile and how he hasn't translated his raw power into more dingers. My hope is that he'll get some serious playing time over the next two months to give the Rockies (and us) a better indication of the player he could be going forward, but I don't know if that's going to happen given how he was treated in a similar situation last year.

Contract Status: 2010 first round, 40-man roster, one option remaining

MLB ETA: Now-ish