Monday, June 6, 2011

Draft Reaction: Giants Select SS Joe Panik, RHP Kyle Crick

The Giants had two picks on the first day of the MLB Draft - one in the 1st, and one in the supplemental round - and used them on a college SS and a powerful high school RHP.

Here's a scouting report for St. John's SS Joe Panik from Keith Law (Insider Only):

And here's a more optimistic report from John Sickels of SBNation:

I do not like the Joe Panik pick. He put up good numbers (.398/.509/.642) in college, but when it comes to draft prospects, stats usually don't matter as much as tools. He supposedly has a weak arm, may need to move to 2B, and doesn't have much power. And if you listen to most scouts, the Giants made a major reach and probably could have selected him with the 49th pick in the supplemental round. I don't like criticizing the Giants when it comes to the draft because they've been pretty freakin' successful in that department recently, but Panik is the type of low upside, limited power hitter the Giants always seem to go for. If you can't read Law's report, he calls Panik a likely utility infielder. Baseball America called the pick the "first truly off-the-board pick of the night" and compare him to Freddy Sanchez. Not really what I'd like from my first round pick.

My main issue with the Giants is that it seems like they doubt their ability to develop raw hitters, so they take safe players like Panik instead of somewhat risky players with more star potential. And then they decide to sign guys like Aaron Rowand and Aubrey Huff to supply the power in the lineup. That's worked pretty well. Not. You may point to guys like Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt as hitters that have come through the Giants' minor league system and had success. I'd argue that Posey didn't need much development, Sandoval was signed on the international market, and Belt may be the exception to rule, assuming he pans out like we all think he will. Gary Brown (a pick I hated, so maybe you can call me an idiot in a year or so) is tearing up the minors right now, but his absolute ceiling is an All-Star leadoff man. I don't mean that to sound like a bad thing, but the Giants don't lack scrappy, high average hitters with speed as much as they do true middle of the order hitters. Maybe I'm being unreasonable; a good player is a good player. I suspect the Giants did prefer HS pitchers like Robert Stephenson and Joe Ross, who went slightly before the Giants picked. But with guys like Dillon Howard, Daniel Norris, and even someone like Travis Harrison on the board, Panik was still an overdraft. Maybe it has to do with my hatred of how the Giants deal with the draft and free agency. I've said it before: imagine Aaron Rowand not signing with the Giants, and the team using that $12 million every year on the draft. It's how it should be. The Giants played it too safe in my opinion and didn't get the best player on the board.

In the supplemental round, the Giants selected Sherman HS RHP Kyle Crick.

Here's another report from Keith Law (Insider Only):

There were other available high school arms on the board I preferred, like Howard and Norris, although they probably had high price tags and I certainly liked the Crick pick better than Panik. Crick is 6'3", 220 lbs, so he's not very projectable but has the body of a typical power pitcher. His fastball sits 92-97, and according to Law he has an average changeup and average slider right now. There may be some question as to whether or not he can be a starting pitcher, but he has the potential to be a No. 2 or 3 starter. Mostly, I like the pick because it's not a huge overdraft and I always love pitching prospects. There's not really much else to say for Crick, who shouldn't be an especially tough sign out of high school.

Day 2 of the draft begins tomorrow. Let's hope for Josh Bell. Ha!


  1. I don't like the Panik pick either, but if he turns into a Freddy Sanchez type, that would be great. Do you forget about his batting title or something?

  2. Sanchez has had just two years with a wOBA above .330. He's an okay player who gives you value on defense, but he doesn't walk much, has to hit for a high average to be valuable on offense, and has little power.

    That's a nice player, and maybe I'm expecting to much, but I tend to want more from a first round draft pick.

    The thing about the MLB Draft is that good players constantly fall because of signability concerns. If the Giants utilized the draft properly, they wouldn't be afraid to spend money on these guys towards the end of the first round. The likelihood that they find a productive player that late in the round is low, so they might as well go for high upside guys who may cost a bit more. However, considering the success rate of draft picks especially at the end of the first round, I suppose a Freddy Sanchez-type player wouldn't be too bad. Maybe my initial assessment was too harsh.

  3. I'm reading this article 4 years later. I think the Giants have been more than vindicated for their decision to draft Panik and Crick. Panik is establishing himself as an everyday 2nd baseman in the bigs and though Kyle Crick is still in Richmond, he's making strides in progressing towards the bigs in about a year or two. It's time to stop doubting Barr and his staff. They've been drafting very well the past few years. Gary Brown is one of their few busts in this department.