2011 MLB Draft Results: Did Giants Find Next Starting SS in Joe Panik?
2011 MLB Draft Results See SF Giants Grab St. Johns Shortstop Joe Panik
There were three things the world champion San Francisco Giants figured to do with the 29th overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft: grab a catcher to move Buster Posey to first base, add to their pitching staff or find their next starting shortstop.
Apparently the Giants feel St. John’s prospect Joe Panik could become their next starting shortstop. Or succeed second baseman Freddy Sanchez down the line, depending on who you talk to.
Panik has been a high-contact hitter at St. John’s with a very good strike zone and plate discipline, and is a classic overachiever based on his physical ability.
As for defense, he has above-average footwork, which is why he could be a solid middle infielder in the majors.
But ESPN’s Keith Law, despite labeling him as one of the most successful overachieving middle infielders thus far in this year’s draft class, said “a fringy arm limits him to second base, and he'll have to hit for average to profile there with below-average power.”
Kinda sounds like Freddy Sanchez, don’t it?
Either the Giants believe Panik’s arm strength can improve down the line, or they are looking at him as a starting second baseman down the line. Law thinks he’s more of a utility guy than a starting shortstop, however.
This is one of those picks that raises serious alarms at No. 29 overall (Law had him ranked 98th overall in the class) and will only be vindicated if Panik can indeed be a starting middle infielder down the line.
I personally don’t understand it, with the exception of the understanding that this is a cheap pick, because North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael was by far the better prospect, who went No. 30 to the Minnesota Twins.
The 2011 MLB Draft gives baseball fans a glimpse into the future of what their favorite teams will look like. While many of these names may not be recognizable and may take a few years to develop and face a tough road through the minors, the most successful MLB franchises get built through the draft. Bleacher Report is examining all things draft-related, including report cards, grades and results for every single pick and team.
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