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Gerardo Parra

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Gerardo Enrique Parra

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Gerardo Parra reached the majors at age 22. He made the postseason All-Star team for his league each of his first three pro seasons before missing in 2008, his 4th year.

Parra was signed by Arizona Diamondbacks scout Miguel Nava at age 17. He hit .384/.444/.561 for the DSL Diamondbacks (Boca Chica?) in 2005, scoring 53 runs in 64 games. He stole 26 bases in 36 tries and led the Dominican Summer League in batting average. He made the DSL All-Star team as one of the outfielders. Gerardo batted .328/.386/.467 for the 2006 Missoula Osprey with 23 steals in 30 attempts. He He hit .396 against southpaws. He tied for 5th in the Pioneer League in stolen bases, was 9th in average and tied Chris Valaika for the most hits (89). He was again an All-Star outfielder in his league. Baseball America rated him as the #5 prospect in the circuit, right behind Sean O'Sullivan and well ahead of league MVP Valaika.

Parra split 2007 between the South Bend Silver Hawks (.320/.370/.435, 24 SB in 32 tries, 10 outfield assists in 110 games) and the Visalia Oaks (.284/.303/.382 in 24 games). His 171 hits led Diamondbacks farmhands. He became the first Silver Hawks player to win the Midwest League batting title, beating out Travis Snider by .007. He joined Snider and MVP Gorkys Hernandez on the league All-Star outfield. Baseball America rated him as the #8 prospect in the MWL, third among outfielders behind Hernandez and Snider. They rated him as being the best batting prospect and having the best outfield arm in the loop.

The young Venezuelan star entered 2008 as the #3 prospect in the Diamondbacks organization according to Baseball America. He split the year between the Oaks (.301/.381/.413 in 50 games) and the Mobile BayBears (.275/.341/.419 in 73 games). He stole 28 bases overall, while being caught 13 times. He had 13 outfield assists but 11 errors. Parra played in the 2008 Futures Game as a backup for the World team. He entered in the 5th inning as the right fielder, replacing Wilkin Ramirez in the lineup; Gorkys Hernandez moved from RF to LF as Ramirez had manned left. He quickly saw action, catching a Dexter Fowler fly that inning. In the 6th, facing Jake Arrieta, he flew out to Greg Golson. He came up in the 8th against Casey Weathers and singled to load the bases with one out but was stranded.

Parra was on Venezuela's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Gerardo began 2009 with the Mobile BayBears. After 29 games, he was hitting .361/.469/.491 and had scored 23 times. With Arizona in need of offensive help, he was called up to the majors, with Josh Wilson being dropped from the roster in his favor. He debuted in the big leagues a week after his 22nd birthday, batting second and playing left field. He homered off Johnny Cueto in his first major league at-bat and finished the day 1 for 4. He was the 100th player in MLB history to homer in his first at-bat.

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