Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run (formerly known as Diamond Skills) congratulates Chris Parmelee on making his big league debut. Parmelee qualified for the 1998 Diamond Skills National Finals in Colorado as a 10 year old and attended the MLB All-Star Game festivities. He was drafted in the first round (20th overall) in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
Parmelee competed at Local and Sectional competitions in the Chino Hills, Calif., area when he was growing up and advanced through the Team Championship level of competition in Anaheim. MLB PHR recently caught up with Chris to talk about his experience with the Official Youth Skills Competition of MLB.
MLB PHR: You made it all the way to the National Finals of Diamond Skills (now known as Pitch, Hit & Run) at the age of 10. What do you remember about that experience?
Chris Parmelee: I was just 10 years old at the time so what I remember the most was just how big the field was in Denver. I do remember that all the finalists were invited to shag fly balls during the Home Run Derby. That was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
MLB PHR: Have you kept in touch with any fellow '98 Diamond Skills National Finalists such as Eric Hosmer of the Royals? Have you crossed paths with Eric in the minor leagues and did you know he became the 1st alumni of the program to crack the big leagues back in May?
Chris Parmelee: I have kept in touch with Eric. He's a fantastic player and a great guy. I wasn't aware he became the first alumni of the program to make it to the big leagues, but wow, that's cool. It's great to see friends make their dreams a reality.
MLB PHR: How did you get started competing in the Official Skills Competition of Major League Baseball for the first time?
Chris Parmelee: I started competing in the competition because my dad found out about it and thought it'd be a fun experience for me. I'm glad he did!
MLB PHR: For a young ballplayer, do you think there are benefits to participating in this skills competition, such as practicing off a batting tee and competing in Major League stadiums?
Chris Parmelee: Oh definitely, I believe the benefits of practicing off a tee are good for young hitters of all ages. And competing in Major League stadiums is every kid's dream.
MLB PHR: What do you remember about the first time you stepped on a Major League Field in Anaheim to compete in the Team Championship level of this competition at 9 years old?
Chris Parmelee: The first thing I remember about stepping onto the field in Anaheim was just how big everything was. The field seemed so deep and the fences just seemed incredibly far away. I also remember just thinking how massive the stadium was, how many fans they must be able to fit in there and how the seats went up higher than I could have ever imagined.
MLB PHR: Looking back at your National Finals trip to Colorado at age 10, did these experiences prepare you for baseball on a bigger stage and did it cross your mind that you could be back one day as a Major League player?
Chris Parmelee: I believe the experience I had at 10 years old through this program was truly a once-in-a-lifetime. Every kid's dream growing up was to play in the big leagues, so yes, I'm sure I wasn't the only one out there who believed that one day I'd be back playing in these stadiums.
MLB PHR: What are your goals for the next couple years?
Chris Parmelee: My goals for the next couple years are to, number one, stay healthy and do whatever I can to help my team win. Second, is to try and stay as consistent as possible. But most of all, to have fun.