Gerardo Parra is going to be traded. There’s little doubt about that. He’s going to be moved because he’s the hottest hitter on a terrible baseball team. That’s as simple as logic gets.
But for some reason, there are Brewers fans out there who think Milwaukee should sign the outfielder to an extension. First of all, I can’t believe there’s more than one person who thinks this, but there is, just look on Twitter. Second of all, I can’t believe people think his production this season is actually sustainable.
Therefore, it’s time for a little Gerardo Parra perspective.
Despite what his fielding stats say in 2015, Parra is a top-tier outfielder. He won a Gold Glove in 2013 and can play every outfield position with the best of them. The majority of his career WAR total comes from his defense, because, up until this season, Parra’s offense has been suspect. Before the season commenced, Parra owned a career .326 on-base percentage and an 89 wRC+ as a six-year major leaguer. His only above-average season came in 2011, which is the only time he ever posted a wRC+ over 100. With a lack of power and too many ground balls, Parra has never been a “good” hitter.
Parra ranks 26th in wRC+ (135) and 23rd in wOBA (.371). His .193 ISO is by far a career high, and with two more home runs, he’ll also break another career mark. Parra’s BABIP is also a best, sitting at .360. When putting everything together, Parra has been one of the very best hitters in all of Major League Baseball. That’s right. Gerardo Parra, the player the Brewers got in exchange for a very fringy outfield prospect in Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda, has been a better hitter than the likes of Michael Brantley, Kris Bryant and Adam Jones.
Does anyone really think Parra suddenly turned on a switch and became a top-30 hitter in baseball? To sane people, the answer is obviously no, but the people with brains in their heads aren’t who this article is targeted at. It’s directed at the insane. In other words, I’m hoping insane people read this.
2015 has been an amazing offensive season for Parra, but it won’t last. And even he probably knows this. We have six years of sample size to determine this, and even though Parra, who just turned 28, has entered his prime, thinking his prime is that of an amazing hitter is crazy talk.
He’s been really, really good for 326 plate appearances this season, but in all likelihood, Parra will revert back to an amazing outfielder but just an OK hitter when 2016 hits. His performance will earn him a bigger free agency contract than originally thought, but it won’t be that of a perennial All-Star. And it shouldn’t be.
Parra will be traded by the Brewers, and it is absolutely the right decision.