Panik's production giving lift to Giants' offense

Panik's production giving lift to Giants' offense

SAN FRANCISCO -- Good thing the Giants didn't trade for a second baseman at the Trade Deadline.

The cliche that "hindsight is 20/20" rings true, but, odds are, whomever they would've acquired wouldn't have produced the way Joe Panik has in the month of August. The rookie entered Saturday hitting .391 (the Majors' third-best mark for the month) with a home run and eight RBIs this month, which has helped reinvigorate what had been an ailing offense and afforded manager Bruce Bochy more flexibility with his lineup.

After the second four-hit game of his career Friday, Panik said studying Buster Posey while in the Minors helped him develop his approach at the plate, which Bochy said Saturday afternoon is reminiscent of Posey's.

"Not a lot of movement, it's not a complicated swing," Bochy said. "They're quick to the ball, short to the ball, and they use the whole field.

"Since he got comfortable up here, he's been the player that he was down in Triple-A. Sometimes it takes players longer than others, but with Joe it just took a handful of days before you saw he belonged here."

Ask Bochy about Panik and another name comes to mind, too: Marco Scutaro.

"Marco was a contact guy, line-drive hitter, base-hit guy, and I look at Panik as the same type of hitter," Bochy said. "Both can handle the bat, they're disciplined at the plate, and that allows you to do a couple things that you may not do with a Hunter Pence."

Panik in the two-hole gives the bottom half of the lineup more speed with Pence batting fifth, and it also creates more lefty-righty variation before the pitcher's spot. It makes the Giants more dynamic, too, since Bochy can opt to put on bunts or hit-and-run plays with Panik, which he wouldn't have with Pence. If Panik's production continues, so will his stay in the two-hole.

"It seems like, for the last three or four weeks, every time he comes up to bat he feels he's going to get a hit," Posey said. "He's got a really nice, simple approach and has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball. If you're going to do that, you're going to have lots of success."

Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.