Monday, January 16, 2012

Crazy Crabbers Top 20 Prospects: Joe Panik



Joe Panik was the Giants first round draft pick last season and when his name was called there were some people that thought this was a reach. Well Panik signed quickly and was designated to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Northwest League and tore things up.

Panik isn’t known to have the most flashy of skills but he is a guy that seems to play above his tools and has excelled at just about every step in his baseball career. Panik was a short stop in college and at Salem-Keizer but switched over to second base while in the Arizona Fall League.

Scouts seem to be split on whether or not he can stick at the position long term defensively but with his tendency to play above his tools I hope he can stick it out at short where his bat would be very nice. Even if he has to switch to second base his bat profiles well there and his defense should be above average.

The big question is where the Giants see him fitting in and how fast they want to push him, if they see him as the second baseman of the future he may go straight to Double-A Richmond, if they want to keep him on the short stop track they will probably send him to High Single-A San Jose.

Season
Team
G
PA
HR
R
RBI
SB
BB%
K%
ISO
BABIP
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
wRC+
2011
Giants (A-)
69
304
6
49
54
13
9.2 %
8.2 %
.126
.354
.341
.401
.467
.403
144

Best Tool: Panik’s best tool is his ability to make contact. On his way to being the Northwest League MVP he struck out in just 8.2 percent of his plate appearances and made consistent hard contact. Even in his stint in the Arizona Fall League he was able to overcome a slow start to finish with a .323 average.

Needs to work on: The one disappointment of his professional debut was that he didn’t show much power but that really isn’t the type of hitter that he profiles to be. It is kind of unfair to pick on that because there just isn’t too much in his stat line to complain about.

Ceiling: Panik had as good of a debut as you could ask for. His ultimate ceiling depends on if he can stay at short or if he needs to switch over to second base at the major league level. If he can stay at short his bat should be above average and could propel him to All-Star level. If he needs to move to second he loses a bit of that value and is probably is a fringe All-Star candidate on occasion but still solidly above average.

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