Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Draft Review: Day 1

Joe Panik, SS, St. John's University (NY)

With their first pick, the Giants took a bit of a shocker with Joe Panik. The early reaction is that this was a bit of a reach for the team, but the organization obviously saw some things they liked in him and were willing to take the chance on him. Panick is an offense-first shortstop who may not stick defensively at the position in the majors but would profile well as a second baseman.

Here is a great rundown on him from Perfect Game who had him slotted in the late first or supplemental round:
The New York-based scouts who have followed Panik since early in his high-school career have noted his year-to-year improvement, and that improvement was especially evident this year, particularly in his performance at the plate. He made a very easy transition to the new bat standards introduced at the NCAA level, hitting .402-9-56 vs. .374-10-53 with aluminum as a sophomore. He played a vital role in all phases of the game in leading St. John’s to an unexpected regional berth, topping the Red Storm in batting, homers, runs (59), stolen bases (21) and walks (42). Panik was also the glue to a Yarmouth-Dennis team that posted the best regular-season record in the Cape Cod League last summer, and reached the league final.

Scouts are impressed with his excellent feel for hitting, especially his polished, disciplined approach and strike-zone awareness. He earns high marks, as well, for his smooth, easy, compact left handed swing and ability to barrel up balls on a consistent basis. He flashes power, but it is mostly to the gaps. The single quality that scouts may most admire about Panik, though, is his general approach to the game. He is a very steady, dependable player with an excellent work ethic and game awareness. He comes to play every day and goes about his job with no flash, just substance. He never gets too high, or too low. Panik consistently plays above his tools as his power and speed, and range in the field are limited. Though his raw speed is not an asset, he more than makes up for it with superior base-running instincts.

Scouts are impressed with his long, lean athletic frame, but aren’t convinced he will remain at shortstop as he climbs the ladder in professional baseball. He has the soft hands and quick feet to play short, but his range and arm strength may be better suited for second base. He had labrum surgery on his shoulder following his freshman season at St. John’s and has some difficulty, at times, making the long throw from the hole at shortstop. Because of the way he plays the game, Panik ranks as one of the safer, more low-risk players in this draft, and that quality alone will make him appealing to a number of clubs.
If Panik signs, he has the potential to move through the system quickly, with an ETA to the majors of 2-3 years, with a ceiling of a solid everyday starting second baseman.

Kyle Crick, RHP, Sherman HS (TX)

With their second first round pick, the Giants took a high upside high school pitcher from Texas; Kyle Crick. Crick is a converted first baseman who has only been pitching for a year, so he is still very rough around the edges. He is a project with a live fastball (reportedly up to 97 mph) and some very crude secondary offerings. This pick was better received by draft pundits and I have to say that the Giants track record of developing pitchers makes me excited to see what they can do with this kid.

He is a raw player with a good fastball and a solid frame for a major leaguer at 6'3", 225 pounds that is built to handle a workload. His secondary stuff still needs work, but he has a slider that has potential to be a plus pitch for him. He will most likely take some time to get to the majors but he has a high ceiling as potential #2 or #3 starter.

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