Joe Panik, SS, St. John's University (NY)
For some reasons, St. John has been really active in my life these past five months. A girl I dated had parents who went to St. John's, St. John's quickly became my favorite team in College Basketball because of their hard-nosed play and Steve Lavin, Gonzaga played St. John's in the NCAA Tourney and the Zags played their best basketball game of the year, and now the Giants used their 29th pick on the Red Storm infielder. Wow...if I didn't turn down St. John's out of high school (it was one of four colleges I was considering), I would be really stoked to be a Johnnie alum right now.
Anyways, back on the subject, well...from a statistical standpoint, Panik looks very good. He showed very good strike zone recognition in college, as he posted BB/K ratios of 1.81, 2.24 and 1.83 in his three years with the Johnnies. Furthermore, he put up averages of .332, .374 and .398 in his three collegiate seasons. The most surprising aspect of Panik's game was his pop for a middle infielder, as he posted slugging percentages of .513, .621 and .642 and hit a total of 25 home runs in 640 at-bats.
However, the big question about Panik is how he can do against better competition and how his power and hitting will translate when he starts hitting with wood bats. Panik played a year in the Cape Cod in 2010, and while he did well at the plate (he hit .276 with a .384 OBP in 145 at-bats), his power didn't translate as he posted a slugging percentage of .372 and only had 10 extra bases hits (eight doubles and two home runs).
In terms of his defense, he had garnered good reports from scouts, though he doesn't seem to be rated as highly as Brandon Crawford or Ehire Adrianza when they broke into professional ball. Here's is what Matt Grabusky said about Panik in his scouting report on MLB Draft Guide.com:
"In the field, Panik has good range and soft hands. His arm is average, which leads some to see his future at second base. Whether he remains at short or slides over to second, Panik has the ability to be a high on base guy and solid fielder at the next level."
A lot of experts still felt though the Giants reached with Panik at 29, and that they could have gotten him at their slot in the supplemental round, or even perhaps as late as the second round. Keith Law on his twitter called Panik a "reach" and that he was a "utility" type. I would wait and see how he does when he makes the transition to the Northwest League this year before I would give him such a "label", but I do feel like the Giants could have gotten a higher ceiling high school arm at No. 29 (Henry Owens for example) and then got Panik at No. 49 in the supplemental round.
Of course, this has been a trend for the Giants recently in drafts (e.g. "reaching for players in the first round"), but it's a strategy that's paid off. Last year, Gary Brown was a projected supplemental/second round pick, and he went in the Giants' first round slot. Safe to say, he's made the pick pay off as evidenced by his performance in San Jose this year. Hopefully the same can be true for Panik.
Kyle Crick, RHP, Sherman HS (TX)
Crick is a projectable power arm that fits the characteristics of former Giants HS draft picks: he's big (225 pounds), he's tall (six-foot, three-inches), and he throws gas, though he has to do some work on his secondary stuff. Thankfully, considering Crick's age, the Giants have the time to be patient with him, and he could be a nice project that could develop well in the Giants system. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler are prime examples of physically gifted HS pitchers that succeeded in the Giants system, and there's no reason to think that Crick can join that club if he stays healthy.
Crick according to John Klima of Baseball Beginnings earned an OFP grade of 54 in his scouting report. The best aspect of Crick's repertoire, according Klima, is his fastball, which was graded a 50 out of 65. His slider was his next best pitch, which was graded a 40 out of 55 and his change and split were graded a decent 30 out of 50. Crick's control still needs some work (Klima graded his control a 30 out of 50), but it's obvious that he has a good tool set and some nice potential as a pitcher.
Furthermore, Klima was encouraged by his mechanics and delivery, noting that his delivery was good and that his "arm smooth through back, body sometimes out in front of arm, arm catches up, gets extension and balanced landings." Here's what Klima said about his strengths as a pitcher:
"FB 89-93, comfortable 90-92, hard downhill with tail, heavy ball. Can reach back for a little more and elevate when needed. SL 81-83 with hard bite, go-to weapon. Hard and late. Split 81 with hard drop. Straight CHG 80-81, assume those weren’t flat sliders, secondary SL 72-73 with drop."
For a supplemental pick, Crick has the tools and frame to be a very good pitcher. Of course, he's young, and he will take some time to develop, since he's a high school kid and not a high profile pitcher like some recent HS pitcher picks like Bumgarner and Wheeler (who were both Top-10 first round picks). That being said, there is a lot to like, and if he can develop his control and secondary stuff in the instructional league and low minors in his first couple of years, then Crick could be a high upside pick that could add to the shallow pitching depth in the Giants system.