Cove Chatter 100: #11

Joe Panik | 2B, 23 yo, 6-1, 190, BL, TR | 2011 Draft – 1  (29) | (AA) 137 G, 599 PA, .257/.333/.347, .680 OPS, 4 HR, 10 SB, 5 CS, 58 BB, 68 K

Panik, like fellow 1st round pick Gary Brown before him, had somewhat of a down season in AA this year. Here’s the reality though: very few hitters excel in the Eastern League, and the rest just have to trudge through it. Personally, I think Panik did just that. He’ll be in Fresno next year, and he’s still got every opportunity to take the 2B job when Marco Scutaro’s contract is up. He probably won’t ever hit for power, but his plate approach has been above average at every level so far… I think that trend will continue. Just my personal opinion, but I think the “utility” label on Panik is a bit rushed at this point. He’s only 23 and headed to MLB spring training. Don’t count this kid out.

They said it: “I still like him…He walks as much as he strikes out and you can’t fake that, no matter what level pitching you’re facing. He might not be a star…But I wouldn’t rule out a career like Scutaro or Freddy Sanchez.” ~ Andrew Baggarly

Panik video:

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3 thoughts on “Cove Chatter 100: #11”

  1. I haven’t given up on Panik either. I feel the same way as Baggs, those are two good examples of what Panik might end up like. And that would still be very useful and still a good value from a first round draft pick. I especially like the comp with Scutaro. And I agree with you that the utility tag was slapped on him too soon.

    I view that as one part disappointment that happens anytime a first round draft pick (no matter where he was selected) stumbles (even when explained by the EL’s hard environment for power hitting) and another part the disdain many prospect hounds had for the Giants selecting him with a first round pick when he was considered to have no plus skills other than hitting (and sabers seem to underrate the ability to hit, it seems to me), and a third part payback “I told you so” attitude that some prospect hounds have when a team does that second part. The lack of skills other than hitting, I think, leads many prospect hounds to denigrate his chances, which I think is part of the DIPS mentality that hitting is random, when there is a real skill to hitting and a real skill to pitchers avoiding hitting.

    I think in Fresno, he will get a chance to recover from the slapdown he got in the EL, but I don’t see him reaching the majors permanently until 2016 at the earliest, which is when Scutaro’s contract is over. I can see either Arias or Adrianza gaining the starting 2B role in 2014-2015 should Scutaro be out injured or finally decline, so there could be an interesting battle for 2B in 2016. As much as I like Panik, I also like Adrianza a lot too. Plus, as much as I like Crawford, he’ll be in his arbitration years by then and both Panik and Adrianza could play SS, the Giants could decide to go with younger and cheaper if Crawford is still up and down offensively by then.

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