Joe Panik has had two big injuries that have set him back in his first half, leading to a difficult time getting into a rhythm. But, don’t let that distract you from the fact that he’s having the worst season of his big league career.
Panik is only striking out at a 5% clip, which is a career best. However, his BABIP is an ugly .238. which is two points lower than his actual batting average. That’s really bad. On top of that his OPS is an ugly .654, with an 81 wRC+. NINETEEN PERCENT BELOW LEAGUE AVERAGE AT CREATING RUNS! That’s incredibly bad. For comparison, guys hovering around that number in 2017 were: Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, Mark Trumbo, Freddy Galvis, and and Jose Bautista. Not good.
Panik, as much as he is loved by the fanbase is just not cutting it when he is on the field, and can’t seem to stay healthy enough to play consistently. That’s of great concern not only for me, but I’m sure it is becoming a concern for the front office. When Panik comes back he needs to step it up, because at some point, his defense, as good as it is, won’t be able to keep him on the field, especially with how Alen Hanson has been playing. Both Hanson’s defense and bat, on paper, have played better than what Panik has done so far.
The Giants could potentially look to upgrade that position with a rental this trade window, leaving Panik on the outside looking in. If he wants to be a regular again, he’s going to have to step it up as his play this year should not warrant a guaranteed spot when he returns from his injury.