We continue the countdown today at number 81 with St. John’s junior shortstop Joe Panik. He is from Hopewell Junction, New York and attended John Jay High School. He was a four year letterwinner with the Patriots as he was a two-time team captain, two-time all-state selection, and two-time all-section honoree. As a senior he was named sectional, league and county player of the year while leading the team to a league championship.
As a freshman in 2009, Panik appeared in 50 games (49 starts) as he hit .332 with 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 47 RBI while having a team high 29 walks. He was named a second team Freshman All-American by the NCBWA.
Panik continued his strong college career as a sophomore in 2010 as he finished second on the team with a .374 average while hitting ten homers and driving in 53 runs. He ended up finishing second on the team in slugging percentage (.621) and on-base percentage (.477) behind NCBWA Freshman of the Year Jeremy Baltz. He did struggle on defense as he made 15 errors for a fielding percentage of .949.
He spent the summer of 2010 in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox where he batted .276 with eight doubles, two home runs and 19 RBI in 42 regular season games. Panik also drew a team-best 20 walks, led the team with a .386 on-base percentage and was a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. He was named a CCBL All-Star as he went 1-2 in the game. (Live Blog|Recap)
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