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.