After a great 2015 season which saw Joe Panik make the All-Star team, the Giants’ second baseman and former first-round pick has had a relatively dismal year at the plate in 2016. Last season he hit .312/.378/.455 with a modest 136 wRC+, and this year he hit .239/.315/.379 with a below average 89 wRC+. Before the season started, projection systems expected him to regress slightly as Panik benefited from a high .330 BABIP in 2015 but not to this level.
Still, the Yankees would have taken him for Andrew Miller. Panik has been a valuable player posting a 2.1 fWAR mostly because of his defense, so this hasn’t been a lost season by any means. He is recovering from a back injury that sidelined him for the last few months of 2015 and a concussion that put him on the DL just before this year’s All-Star break so that would explain some of his troubles, but perhaps not all of it. Has something changed about his approach, or is he merely unlucky?
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