What we know about Kyle Parker at this point is that he has the one tool most rare in today's baseball world - right-handed power. Currently a corner outfielder, the Rockies are trying to increase Parker's versatility by giving him additional reps at first base, writes Cash Kruth of MLB.com.
The Rockies began this experiment towards the end of 2013, a year that Parker spent entirely in Double-A en route to hitting .288/.345/.492 with 23 doubles and 23 home runs. Parker played 18 games at first base towards the end of last season after having played the outfield exclusively to that point in this career.
Moving in from the outfield (and having played primarily left field), there won't be much additional pressure on Parker's bat to produce at such an offensively-important position. The power comes easy to Parker, who does not need to cheat or sell out in order to drive the ball. If his power is able to translate against major league pitching (a legitimate question), it will hold up as well at first base as it did in the outfield. The question about Parker will be his ability to handle the bigger glove.
The Rockies are optimistic about the transition, as well they should be. The former college quarterback is a good athlete who is used to being in different athletic situations. He's not fast, but that's also not a prerequisite for playing first base.
The move is also not permanent. When Parker heads to Triple-A to start the 2014 season, expect him to bring both gloves to Colorado Springs and split time between first base and left field. With some uncertainty at first base (no I'm not sold on Justin Morneau) and the possibility that at least one of their corner outfielders could be traded at the trade deadline if the Rockies aren't good (a distinct possibility), giving Parker options can only enhance his chances at cracking the Rockies major league lineup at some point this season.
A shift to first base isn't a knock on Parker's outfield defense so much as it is a way to try to get him into the lineup. The real question is in Parker's hit tool and how it translates against better pitching and whether it allows his power to come out in games. If it does, it won't matter much where he's playing.