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Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TREND OR MIRAGE: JOE PANIK 2B SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

The 2018 fantasy baseball season is only a week old and already we have a batch of surprising performances both in the pitching and hitting front which has defied spring training expectations.  One of the biggest early shockers on the latter side no doubt has been San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik who already has swatted three home runs in just 19 at-bats, which is a massive uptick per game from a guy who hit just 29 total long balls in 1,626 previous at-bats.  Naturally, one has to assume that Panik has changed his launch angle which is now the new trend in baseball which many explain is the reason previously power-averse guys like Daniel Murphy or Scooter Gennett all of a sudden go from single-digit home run outputs to around 25.  The only thing is that Panik said he has not changed his launch angle one bit but instead has moved his right foot a bit closer to the plate.  This has helped Panik unlock some more power because it prevents him from opening up his stance and get beat on the outside.  That has also allowed Panik not to miss pitches to drive like he would in the past with his right foot further back.  Obviously, the early results are very promising and this is already a guy who has an excellent contact rate that allows him to be at or near .300 with the average.  So in terms of what we are seeing from Panik with the power, it is very possible he has unlocked some new home run ability due to the new stance but we have to see some more long-term results before we go all in here.  The bottom line though is that we are clearly in a juiced ball era whether MLB wants to admit it or not and that alone could help Panik (who is just now growing into his prime) a decent power hitter with a good average.
TREND OR MIRAGE:  TREND

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