This isn't a complaint about Parks' comments as much as a hitch I see in the way prospects are assessed. When the O's called Josh Bell up last year, they said at the onset that he was coming up to get a taste of major league pitching as a boon to his development, which they acknowledged was still ongoing. So he comes up and struggles, unsurprisingly, as the team itself admitted that he wasn't a finished enough prospect to compete at that level, something they knew going in. But now those struggles have been used by observers to raise questions about his long-term outlook as a prospect. If he hadn't have been called up, they'd likely still view him as a top 100 prospect in all of baseball. But since he was, they no longer think much of him at all. But he isn't a different player now than he was before the call up, except that he might in fact be better prepared to succeed now that he has a bit of insight of what it takes to hit major league pitching.
That's not to say the observers are wrong. If it's your job to project the future, you're wise to use everything at your disposal to do so accurately. If that includes 50-some strikeouts to 2 walks at the major league level, you'd be silly to ignore it. But I do think this indicates a contradiction in the system. A player is effectively rewarded by not doing quite enough to be promoted to the majors, or for playing in a situation that limits his ability to be promoted. That doesn't make much sense.
I'm interested in what national observers have to say about Tyler Townsend, Xavier Avery
and Jonathan Schoop. It increasingly seems those are the only guys outside of Machado that have much room for projection.