SF Giants bring back former World Series champ as special advisor

Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants
Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The SF Giants are bringing back a familiar face. According to SF Giants beat writer Steven Rissotto of SFBAYCA.Com, former second baseman Joe Panik is returning to the organization as a special assistant to player development.

SF Giants bring back former World Series champ as special advisor

Panik quietly retired after the 2021 season following a brief stint with the Miami Marlins. However, he did not stay away from baseball for long as he returns to the organization that drafted him in the first round in 2011.

The left-handed bat was not considered a top prospect as he made a gradual ascent up the minor league ladder. In fact, the Giants even gave Dan Uggla a four-game audition before promoting Panik to the active roster in 2014.

It is a good thing that they did because the sweet-swinging bat made an immediate impact. Panik slashed .305/.343/368 (105 OPS+) with one home run, 18 RBI, and 31 runs in 287 plate appearances as a rookie. This included a 5.6 percent walk rate against an 11.5 percent strikeout rate.

Even though the 32-year-old had a clutch, two-run shot in Game 5 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, he is well-remembered for a play that took place in the World Series. Panik made an improbable flip to Brandon Crawford to start a double play on a ground ball off the bat of Eric Hosmer.

One detail that gets overlooked is that 2014 was the first season in which managers could challenge calls on the field. That call would not have been reversed if it occurred prior to that season. Of course, this play would eventually help the Giants win their third World Series in five years.

Panik went on to have a very nice career. He earned an All-Star nod in 2015 followed by a Gold Glove award in 2016. His tenure with the Giants came to an unceremonious end when he was released in August of 2019 after a series of subpar seasons.

The eight-year veteran also appeared with the New York Mets (2019), Toronto Blue Jays (2020 - 2021), and the Miami Marlins (2021). It did not take long but Panik already has a fan on the team: