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San Francisco Giants 2016 Season Grades: Infielders and Catchers

Apr 10, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti (19) meets with the Giants infield on the mound during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti (19) meets with the Giants infield on the mound during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports
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Oct 10, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits a walk-off RBI double against the Chicago Cubs during the thirteenth inning during game three of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at AT&T Park. The San Francisco Giants won 6-5 in thirteen innings. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

JOE PANIK. B. . 2B. San Francisco Giants

Joe Panik had an extremely disappointing season. I made mention of this on Twitter and actually caught some flack for this. A lot of people reminded me of the significant concussion issues he had, and while that is worthwhile claim as to why his numbers were what they were, it was bad before the Concussion. The concussion didn’t help, and I’m sure that had a lot to do with how long it took him to get going at the plate. We know not to expect Brandon Phillips type numbers from Panik, because that’s not who he is. However, he was NOT the Joe Panik of the past.

Last year, Panik swatted a .312/.378/.455/.833 slash-line. In the second spot in the lineup, that kind of production is salivated over by GMs. He won an all-star appearance thanks to that type of play. What happened this year? A .239/.315/.379/.695 slash-line destroyed the run production from the Giants this season. Granted, he was one of the most disciplined batters in all of baseball, striking out only 8% of the time. I will give him a pass on the stats post-concussion. But what about before the concussion?

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On June 18th, Joe Panik was hit in the head by his future teammate, Matt Moore. His production before that time was this: .261/.325/.416/.741. Those are not typical Joe Panik numbers. The concussion easily delayed the return of his bat. We had to wait until the postseason to see the balanced swing that we saw in his rookie and sophomore seasons.

The concussion issues are nothing to be scoffed at. They are a serious brain trauma, and must be taken 100% seriously. We’ve seen how it effected Brandon Belt in the past, and now it plagued Panik. It’s OK that it took him time to get over it. However, he was just not the same at the plate this season, even before the concussion. That’s the area of concern

Defensively, Panik was stellar, as usual. He had the highest fielding percentage amongst NL second baseman, and is certainly a gold-glove candidate. Hopefully he’ll return to his old form at the plate next season, and the Giants offense can really get churning again.

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