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Prospect Panik eager to continue development

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Joe Panik didn't hold back in assessing 2014's overall meaning to his career.

"I would definitely say it's a big year," the Giants' 2011 first-round Draft pick said.

The infielder is in his third big league camp as a non-roster invitee and isn't expected to compete for a roster spot this spring. But he is hoping to make the jump to Triple-A and perhaps make his Giants debut sometime during the year.

"You want to keep pushing forward and move through the organization, with the ultimate goal to get to the Majors," said Panik, who hit .297/.368/.402 with Class A Advanced San Jose in 2012 and .257/.333/.347 with Double-A Richmond last season.

"Every year you want to put your best foot forward and see what happens," Panik, 23, said. "I'm a lot more comfortable. I know all the guys pretty much and they know me. I can just go there and play ball now. I'm no longer the young guy. Guys know what I'm about, my work ethic, so I can just go out and play baseball now. That level of comfort makes it easier to play.

"We start games on Wednesday and that's going to be the true telling of what's going to happen."

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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