Jays From the Couch takes a minute to recognize one the Blue Jays hottest hitting prospects in July, Connor Panas
Since the beginning of July, the Toronto native has put on a hitting clinic in Dunedin. Over the past 30 days, Panas can find his name atop many offensive categories for the entire organization. He has the 5th most hits (37), 2nd most home runs (6), and is 1st in RBI (23).
Fun fact: Since setting up his bat charging station in early July, Connor Panas is hitting .367 with 4 HR and 14 RBIs pic.twitter.com/NkXvUxvC5D
— Dunedin Blue Jays (@DunedinBlueJays) July 23, 2017
Drafted in the 9th round of the 2015 draft, Panas had always demonstrated an ability to hit the ball over the fence. The Toronto Mets graduate was said to have decent bat speed, a decent idea of the strike zone, a decent arm and foot work in the field, and decent speed.
Yeah, one of those guys. Does everything well, but not well enough to get him out of the ‘organizational filler’ category.
Panas made some adjustments at the plate this season which has paid immediate dividends in the stats column. He shortened his leg kick which has helped him make more consistent contact and use the entire field more.
Connor Panas in July:
.354 Avg, 28 G, 34 H, 13 R, 6 2B, 5 HR, 19 RBI, .446 OBP
Last 10 games:
.432 Avg, 16 H, 8 RBI pic.twitter.com/juLcZfbCA8
— Dunedin Blue Jays (@DunedinBlueJays) July 30, 2017
April saw Panas bat just .207 in 8 games. Small sample size, moving on.
He played 22 games in May and batted .236 with 3 HR and 4 doubles. After hitting .231 with 16 HR, this was the kind of production I expected from the 6-foot outfielder. Low batting average with slightly above power.
June was a disappointing month for Connor, as he batted just .228 and failed to hit a single home run in 23 games.
On July 1st, Connor Panas was batting .228 with 7 doubles, 4 home runs, and 12 runs batted in.
Nothing special about those numbers, right?
Panas appeared in 30 games in July and had the best month of his career. Finally comfortable with the adjustment he made Panas went off in July. Connor batted .352 with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs, and 23 runs batted in.
Panas will strike out, a lot. Aside from a 6 game debut with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays in 2015, Panas will strikeout well above 20% of his at-bats. However, the 23 K% he is sporting this season is the lowest it’s been in 3 seasons.
His walk rate continues to hover around the 10% to 11% range, which isn’t too bad.
Even during his career month of July, Panas still struck out 22 times in 105 at-bats. However, the 14 walks he drew in July matched his career high set last July with the Lugnuts.
The Toronto native has done better recently. Over the past 10 days, Panas owns 12.0 BB% and 8.0 K%.
ISO, BABIP, and More
With his new swing, I don’t doubt that Panas will be able to chase down and surpass his career high .199 ISO which he accomplished with Lansing in 2016. He is currently sitting at .163 but holds a .269 ISO over the past 30 days.
During his three seasons in the Blue Jays organization, Connor has posted +.300 BABIP in two seasons. After posting a .337 BABIP with the Vancouver Canadians in his rookie season, Panas posted a .274 BABIP in Lansing last season. This year he owns a .338 BABIP and .413 BABIP over the past 30 days.
Thanks to his insane month of July, Panas is posting career highs in both wOBA (.378) and wRC+ (141).
Splits and Stats
The D-Jays left-handed batter has struggled against LHP to a tune of .213 with just one home run.
Against RHP, Panas is batting .291 with 9 HR.
Overall, Panas is slashing .271/.373/.434 (.807 OPS) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR, and 35 runs batted in.
Connor Panas can play both corner outfield positions and has seen some time at 1st. This season Connor has played 40 games in right field, 27 games in left field, and 8 games at 1st.
With 132 total chances in right field, the 24-yr-old has produced 5 outfield assists while collecting another 4 outfield assists in left field. Combined he owns a .972 fielding percentage in the outfield.
While sustaining the numbers we saw him put up in July is a big ask, something comparable would be possible. Regardless, this young man is having a heck of a season and we should all take notice.
*Featured Image Credit: Open Grid Scheduler UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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