Bay Area Sports: Ranking the Top 30 Players

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Aug 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits an rbi double during the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

#20 – Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants

All Joe Panik does it hit. His big league career started slowly, as he looked way overmatched in his first few weeks as a major leaguer. But since his comfort level evened out, Panik has become one of the fastest rising stars in baseball.

In his first 25 games with San Francisco, Panik struggled to a .200 average, looking every bit the 23-year-old rookie getting his first taste of the action. After that, a switch seemed to flip on, and Panik has stabilized second base for the Giants. Over his last 148 games, Panik has batted .323, collecting 186 hits in 576 at-bats.

In 2015, his first full season as a big leaguer, Panik was named an All-Star, and found time during the game with his double play partner, a very special moment. His season was cut short by a couple months because of back inflammation, but if not for that, he conceivably could have been a Gold Glove finalist, a contender for the Silver Slugger, and been in the batting title race.

The team and Panik are both confident that the back problems won’t be an issue going forward, and that’s great news for the Giants, their young budding star, and the fans who have grown to love Panik.

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