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Slugging prospect Parker getting time at first

Slugging prospect Parker getting time at first

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Parker is having a busier Spring Training than usual.

The Rockies' first-round pick in the 2010 Draft has played the outfield for the majority of his professional career and much of this spring. But near the end of Double-A Tulsa's 2013 season and sparingly here at Spring Training, Parker is getting time at first base.

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"It's different, especially coming in from the corner outfield where you're kind of separated from the game, for the most part," Parker said. "When the ball comes your way at first base, action's happening your way a lot more often. That's one of the things you get used to, but being out there every day and working on it, I'm starting to feel more comfortable."

Manager Walt Weiss said the Rockies are confident in Parker's ability to play they outfield, and they're looking to add versatility to Parker's game.

The 24-year-old is expected to start the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs after hitting .288/.345/.492 with 23 home runs and 74 RBIs at Double-A. That production was in line with his other two Minor League seasons, with Parker sporting a .293/.374/.510 line and 67 home runs in 342 Minor League games since the Rockies drafted the former Clemson quarterback.

Parker has brought that offense to Arizona, hitting .294 (5-for-17) with three doubles and six RBIs. And while scouts, evaluators and veterans mostly agree Spring Training stats don't matter, Parker admits he wants to put up good numbers.

"You always want to go up there and have success, so I wouldn't say you completely don't care about it," Parker said. "But at the same time, you have to make adjustments and fine tune and get ready for the season."

Parker appears to have his swing in sync, especially after driving in five runs Sunday against the Royals.

"He's an interesting guy," Weiss said. "It's an impact right-handed bat. There's not a lot of those guys running around the league anymore with right-handed power."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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