Joe Panik had another excellent season defensively for the San Francisco Giants. Last year’s Gold Glove winner could repeat as champion with the season he had in the field. At the plate, he struggled at times, especially in the first half of the season.
From May 9th through May 31st, Panik had 12 hits. His batting average was .299 on May 8th and had dropped to .242 by the end of the month. Panik also has some of the hottest stretches of the season, getting 12 hits in a three game series in Colorado alone from September 4th through 6th.
Panik finished the season with a .288 batting average, which is pretty remarkable considering he was still hitting .244 June 6th.
A more remarkable stat for Panik was his ability to avoid striking out. He had the lowest strikeout percentage in baseball and the highest contact rate.
As Giants fans saw with Marco Scutaro in 2012, the impact a player can have on a lineup by avoiding strikeouts and having great contact numbers can be invaluable.
Panik is also one of the most talked about Giants on the trade market. Rookie Christian Arroyo is the team’s top prospect and his natural position is second base. The team also has Kelby Tomlinson who saw time at second base.
For a team that lost as much as the Giants did in 2017, they have to face the reality that they have many positions of need. With a player of Panik’s talent, he might be the guy that gets the largest return to balance the team’s talent out. The Giants will not trade Panik unless they can get a player of similar talent at a position where they are struggling to find a starter.