Parra walking back into shape

Parra walking back into shape

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra is hitting .371 after a 2-for-3 performance in Sunday's 9-2 victory over the Athletics.

Parra's mind is clear of the burdens he carried while hitting .253 and walking just nine times in 381 plate appearances last season, when he dealt with a left high-ankle sprain that cost him 46 games. He's reached a third of last season's walks total in 13 games this spring.

More hits, more walks, fewer strikeouts are all points the numbers make. But Parra, who turns 30 on May 6 and is in the second year of a three-year $27.5 million deal, has honed his thinking to a simple thought.

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"The only point right now is taking good at-bats," Parra said. "When you take a good at-bat, everything is positive -- maybe a base hit, maybe a walk, maybe a sacrifice fly.

"Sometimes when you're thinking about a lot of things while hitting, you swing at a lot of bad pitches. Maybe it's too much pressure. You're trying to do too much."

Parra's two-run homer

Rockies manager Bud Black remembers a dynamic Parra with the D-backs and Brewers, and that's who he sees this spring.

"He's hitting the ball to all fields, and the ball is coming off hot," Black said. "He's in a good spot. Just talking to the guys last year, they said he's a completely different looking player."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.