3B – AIA Fire
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Height: 5’10″ – Weight: 180lb
College: UNC Pembroke
Hometown: Benson, North Carolina
After a slow start to open the season, the Fire have been clawing their way out of the basement as of late, and one of the biggest players in their recent effort has been infielder Aaron Parnell.
Parnell hails from way back east, in North Carolina, and is attending college close to home at UNC Pembroke. The sophomore has a year of junior college ball under his belt, having played down at Florence-Darlington Tech in the other Carolina. With Division II Pembroke last year, the sports management major was one of their best batters — hitting .343, driving in 42 runs, and posting an OPS of 1.024 (.607 + .417).
I saw Parnell in the first ABL game I attended this season, and his best tool that I could note is his speed (and that’s my favorite one, because it’s a common tool to many skills both offensive and defensive). Parnell has above-average speed; actually, he is probably one of the fastest players I’ve yet to note in the Alaska League this season. He’s stolen six of seven bases so far this season, so he’s definitely a threat to run, and the Fire have been batting him at the top of the order for the bulk of their campaign to date. His bat hasn’t been so impressive overall this year, but lately it’s been coming around, as he’s picked up some good hits and been a part of the Fire’s better fortunes of late.
If Parnell’s fortunes at the plate turn around, and he is able to put together a resurgent second half, reaching base more often, he could help this Fire team pull themselves up from that dismal season-opening skid. Considering he’s stolen a base in roughly a third of the times he’s reached base safely, imagine what he could do if he had a .400 OBP? He would be a real spark plug at the top of the lineup.
The season is not quite half over, though, so anything is possible! Keep following us as we track the progress of Parnell and the Fire all season long, hopefully capping things with a solid scouting report on him at year’s end.