Hello everyone. This is Vince here (yes, it's me). I'm really sorry about all the guest blogging. I've been busy trying to make black and white photography, and I just about got the hang of it. I will be posting some of my articles and blog posts soon, along with a Giants trivia of the day.
For now, enjoy this piece on the Giants' 2011 No. 1 draft pick.
By Max Frankel
Joe Panik is currently the starting shortstop for the St. John’s Red Storm of the Big East Conference but that soon may change. Panik was selected in the first round yesterday, 29th overall, by the San Francisco Giants. Panik has had a distinguished collegiate career and a successful stint in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer. I must admit, he was not a random selection for Off The Bench’s first Player Profile. When playing for John Jay East Fishkill High School, Panik hit a long home run off of yours truly. So I am proud to say that I feel at least a little responsible for his success.
Panik has played well in his three years at St. John’s. Here is what the St. John’s website lists as his accomplishments for just his sophomore year: “Named to the NCAA Charlottesville Regional All-Tournament Team … a member of the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team … a third team All-BIG EAST selection … a second team CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree … appeared in 61 games and made 60 starts … batted .374 with 18 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and 53 RBI … slugged .621 and added a .477 on-base percentage … had 26 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI games … hit safely in 51 games … drew a team-best 38 walks … combined to bat .278 (5-for-18) with one double, two home runs, five RBI and four runs scored in five NCAA Tournament games … batted .375 (6-for-16) with two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored in four BIG EAST Tournament games … went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI against then-No. 22 Ole Miss (June 6) in the NCAA Tournament … had two doubles and two RBI as part of a 2-for-5 day at the plate against then-No. 18 Connecticut (May 30) in the BIG EAST Tournament championship game … homered and had two RBI at Rutgers (May21) … launched two home runs and had five RBI at Boston College (May 18) … combined to go 5-for-11 with one home run, two RBI and four runs scored in a three-game set at Notre Dame (April 30-May 2) … tripled and had five RBI as part of a 3-for-5 day against Georgetown (April 24) … went 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBI, three walks and five runs scored against Fordham (April 21) … combined to go 6-for-13 with one triple, one home run, three RBI and four runs scored in a three-game set at Cincinnati (April 16-18) … went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored against West Virginia (April 11) … had two doubles as part of a 3-for-4 game at Wagner (April 7) … combined to go 3-for-6 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored in a double-header against Seton Hall (April 1) … hit a pinch-hit, walk-off single against Columbia (March 24) … went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored against Fairfield (March 17) … was 2-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored at Liberty (March 13) … finished a home run shy of the cycle as part of a 4-for-4 day that included two doubles, a triple and three runs scored at ETSU (March 7) … scored two runs and went 2-for-2 against Illinois (Feb. 28) … went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored at New Orleans (Feb. 19).”
Also, Panik was an All-Star for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League last season. He hit .276 in the pitching dominated league and hit .393 in the playoffs. He was the starrting shortstop and three hitter in the All-Star game held at Fenway Park.
Panik projects more as a second basemen than a shortstop due to below average arm strength but he’s got a knack for getting on base and making something happen and that could help him get to the pros quickly. Here is what ESPN’s Keith Law says about Panik:
“Panik is one of a handful of overachieving college middle infielders in this draft along with Kolten Wong, Ryan Wright, and Brad Miller, and Panik’s track record of performance rivals them all. He controls the zone well with good hand-eye coordination but nearly bars his lead arm and his swing is long for a guy with a history of high contact rates. He’s an average runner whose feet work well enough for him to play anywhere in the infield, but a fringy arm limits him to second base, and he’ll have to hit for average to profile there with below-average power. I think Panik is ultimately a good utility player, but he might just get on base enough to make himself an everyday player at second.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Panik will leave school and join the Giants' system, but either way, I expect he’ll play well. I certainly know I’m rooting for him and looking forward to getting my Panik Giants T-Shirt when he makes the big club.
Be sure to visit his site, Off The Bench, for more great baseball articles.