Spring Training is in full flex for the San Francisco Giants, which means it is the perfect time to overreact to small sample sizes and speculate wildly. Second baseman Joe Panik seems like a good place to start as he’s been on fire this spring.
The San Francisco Giants second baseman has had 15 hits in 29 at-bats so far, which works out to a .517 batting average. That’s very very promising. After a 2018 season that started off great with back to back go ahead home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, injuries derailed him yet again.
Injuries have been a common thread throughout Panik’s career, so staying on the field as much as possible will be absolutely paramount for his 2019 success.
We all know what Joe is capable of when he is right though. In a modern game where there is less emphasis on contact and more on power, Panik is that rarity that strikes out rarely and puts the ball in play often.
If he were to have a breakout year in 2019, it would remind folks that you can still get things done the good old fashioned way.
But, of course, hot spring trainings don’t always translate into big numbers when the games actually count.
The names Chris Marrero, Justin Maxwell, and Casey McGehee all come to mind. Fortunately for Panik, his skills as a defender will keep him in the lineup even if his bat gets cold during the regular season.
But why not dream a little bit? If our instincts are right and the Giants don’t do much this year I at least want to see Joe Panik tear it up. That may mean that the Giants try to trade him, but it’s been tough to watch the guy struggle with injuries the past few years.
So I say we temper our expectations, while at the same time allowing ourselves to dream of a Joe Panik that hits .320 and has an OBP through the roof. It may be early, but it’s never too early to overreact and wildly project. Happy Spring everyone!