The San Francisco Giants thought they were going to have someone win the left-field job outright in 2017. The complete opposite happened and nobody really took hold of it. Jarrett Parker was supposed to be that guy, but injury held him back.
When the San Francisco Giants broke camp in March, Jarrett Parker was supposed to be platooning with upstart non-roster invite winner Chris Marrero. 11 more left fielders later, and a stint on the 60 Day-DL, Jarrett Parker basically has two months of the left field position being his.
He started off well last night, going 3/4 with two doubles and three RBI in the Giants rout of the Oakland A’s. The season is done for the Giants, and Austin Slater, who seemed to grab hold of left field is also done for the season. That means, unless the Giants want Gorkys Hernandez out there for the final two months, Jarrett Parker is going to get a shot to prove he’s the guy for the big league roster.
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Jarrett Parker will be 29 when next season comes around, and if the Giants want to contend, he either has to be the guy, or be gone from the roster. When you’re 29 and only have 232 plate appearances at the big league level, you either have it or you don’t. So if he doesn’t grab the job by the neck now, the jig is up. He has no more options. If he doesn’t get the job done, then he’s very likely going to get DFA’d.
The Giants are already envisioning Denard Span in left field next year, which is a start.
With how well Slater performed, it certainly could seem like a Slater/Span mix in left. If that’s the way the Giants want to go, that’s great. But Jarrett Parker needs to assert himself into that conversation as well by spring. If not, he becomes expendable, especially when they do things in free agency this offseason.
So what is it going to be? Is Jarrett Parker ready to take hold of his spot in left? Or is he going to be a career “four-a” type guy? Who knows. But his last legs with the Giants are these next few months, and it’s time for him to capitalize.