By Jon Mahoney, Special to SI.com, SchoolSports.com
As a sophomore, Parmelee batted .380 with 11 doubles, two homers, 25 RBI and 14 walks as Chino Hills finished 12-14 in its inaugural varsity campaign. He also went 4-6 on the hill that season with a 2.22 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 72 innings. Last year, he hit .412 with six doubles, 11 homers, 23 RBI, 16 walks and eight steals while going 6-0 on the mound with a 2.28 ERA as the Huskies improved to 16-9.
Parmelee earned All-CIF first team honors as an outfielder last year, but his numbers could have been even better if teams hadn't avoided pitching to him altogether.
"The last couple of years have been frustrating, but it has come to the point where I expect it," says Billingsley in reference to Parmelee being pitched around. "What teams will try to do is get him to chase a pitch on the first one, but he's such a disciplined hitter that he won't chase and they won't pitch to him. He's a student of the game and knows what teams are throwing and when they'll throw it. He's swinging at his pitches, not their pitches."
Parmelee's plate discipline and refined swing haven't come without logging plenty of hours of practice. He also studies opposing pitchers and keeps charts on what they're throwing, which has helped him develop to the point where he can now hit with power to all fields.
"Me and my dad (Chris) hit soft toss every day to try to perfect my mechanics," says Parmelee, who played in the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic in Maryland last summer. "We hit about four or five buckets a day. It's stuff that didn't happen overnight. It took two years for me to go the other way."
"He's got a great attitude," adds Billingsley. "If you met him, you wouldn't know he gets that much attention. He's always looking to get better. He's a guy who really works on his weaknesses, which aren't very many. A lot of guys will just work on their strengths. Chris will work on the things that he needs to work on. He has no holes in his swing and has freakish natural power."
Parmelee isn't one to just practice on his own, though. He works with his teammates in the cages if they're struggling and has done a lot of volunteer work at Chino Hills' baseball camp for 7- to 14-year-olds.
"The kids in this area really look up to him," says Billingsley.
So do the major league scouts who've come in droves to watch Parmelee's games. Despite their presence, Parmelee has learned to just go out there and do his thing.
"In the beginning, I let it get to me," says Parmelee, whose swing has been compared to Chicago White Sox slugger Jim Thome. "Now I just relax and play my game. That's what they're there to see you for."
Parmelee has signed with college baseball power Cal State Fullerton, but he's also a potential first-round pick in June's MLB Draft and will wait until then to make a final decision.
"Right now I'm not sure about the draft," says Parmelee. "My dream is to play Major League Baseball, but we'll just wait and see what happens."
Wherever Parmelee ends up, one thing is certain: Whoever is watching his batting practice better be careful where they stand.